Supernatural Love Historical Context

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In the 1960s and 1970s, most poets in America wrote in free verse, which paid no attention to rhyme or meter or traditional poetic form. The predominant form was the personal lyric. During the 1980s, this started to change, and a movement emerged known as the New Formalism, in which poets returned to writing verse in traditional forms. The trend is noted by the poet and critic Dana Gioia in his 1987 essay “Notes on the New Formalism.” He points out that two of the most impressive first poetry volumes of the decade are Brad Leithauser's Hundreds of Fireflies (1983) and Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate (1986), both of which were written entirely in formal verse. He might well have added Schnackenberg's Portraits and Elegies (1982) and The Lamplit Answer (1985), since she, too, was a poet working exclusively with traditional poetic forms. Gioia's own first collection of poetry, Daily...

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