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An African Elegy Summary
Robert Duncan

Everything you need to understand or teach An African Elegy by Robert Duncan.

  • An African Elegy Summary & Study Guide

An African Elegy Summary


"An African Elegy" is one of the most controversial poems that Duncan ever wrote. Editor John Crowe Ransom accepted the poem for publication in The Kenyon Review in 1942 calling it "very brilliant." However, after Duncan published his essay "The Homosexual in Society" in Dwight Mac- Donald's radical monthly Politics, "outing" himself and arguing (in part) that gay culture needed to see itself as more fully a part of mainstream society, Ransom changed his mind and decided not to publish the poem. Ransom wrote: "We are not in the market for literature of this type." By literature of this type, Ransom meant poetry that, in his view, was an "obvious homosexual advertisement." The curious thing about Ransom's rejection of the poem is that he did not read any homosexual content in it when he accepted it, but only after reading Duncan's essay. Ransom, though he praised the essay, disagreed with...

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An African Elegy Study Guide

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