Analysis Of The Poem ' Fear Of Narrative And The Skittery Poem Of Our Moment '

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In his article “Fear of Narrative and the Skittery Poem of Our Moment,” Tony Hoagland argues that modern poetry is “oblique,” “fractured,” and “discontinuous”. He believes that poems no longer have systematic structure or development, making them appear random with skittish tendencies. Because of the poems that Hoagland feels are different, he categorizes most new poems to be like the kind he describes in his article. He further evaluates new poetry by claiming that “narrative poetry is tainted by overuse” and that the time we live in is “simply not a narrative age.” He uses several poems to support his argument such as, “Couples” by Mark Halliday and “First Person Fabulous” by Matthea Harvey. He utilizes these poems because they possess no true focal point and the structure restricts them from having a clear narrative.
While the poems he uses in his article may depict skittishness and an elusive voice, many of the poems in The Best of the Best of American Poetry edited by Robert Pinksy represent modern poetry as having a focal point and self-consciousness of narrative. This anthology contains poems from the best of American poetry from recent years that have appeared in magazines and other published articles. Hoagland may think that narrative and continuity are things of the past but this compilation of today’s poetry illustrates a different take on the argument at hand.
Many pieces throughout the anthology reflect poems of self-consciousness; something that Hoagland

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