The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism
Naturalist poetry, Literary naturalism, Stephen Crane, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Theodore Dreiser, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Sharon Olds
This article focuses on the relationship between naturalism and poetry. The main intellectual trends of twentieth-century poetry are inimical to a naturalist verse tradition. On the other hand, nothing in the generally assumed definition disqualifies poetry from the genre. Regarding naturalist poetry in terms of genre, a rather clear narrative comes into view: naturalist poets began by critiquing convention, as naturalist novelists did, and went on to adopt modernist techniques to reflect the changing notion of what constitutes reality. Common to all is an enduring strain exploring the severe restraints on human possibility. The poetry of Stephen Crane, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Theodore Dreiser, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Sharon Olds are analyzed.
© Oxford University Press. Reproduced with permission.
Beyers, Chris. "Naturalism and Poetry." The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism, edited by Keith Newlin. Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 445-462. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195368932.013.0026.