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An African Elegy Criticism

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Although associated with the Projectivist school of Black Mountain poetry, Duncan is known as a romantic poet and a mystic whose verse often baffles readers. For example, John Crowe Ransom, after accepting "Sections Towards an African Elegy" (the original title of "An African Elegy") in 1943, returned it to Duncan the next year writing: "It seems to me to have obvious homosexual advertisement, and for that reason not to be eligible for publication." Ransom had re-read Duncan's poem after reading Duncan's essay "The Homosexual in Society" and saw things in it he hadn't before. "Is it not possible," he wrote Duncan, "that you have made the sexual inferences inescapable, and the poem unavailable?" Duncan biographer Ekbert Faas writes that even though Duncan acknowledged to Ransom that the sexual inferences in the poem were "inescapable," Faas himself does not find them as such. Faas sees Ransom's refusal to publish "An...

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Poetry for Students
An African Elegy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.