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Shifting Ground

Shifting Ground

Reinventing Landscape in Modern American Poetry

Bonnie Costello

ISBN 9780674008946

Publication date: 03/30/2003

Just as the look of the American landscape has changed since the nineteenth century, so has our idea of landscape. Here Bonnie Costello reads six twentieth-century American poets who have reflected and shaped this transformation and in the process renovated landscape by drawing new images from the natural world and creating new forms for imagining the earth and our relation to it.


  • A study that is...remarkable... for its detailed knowledge, lucidity of thought, and, quite often, for the sheer skill with which its author develops ingenious arguments and interpretations. Costello draws considerably on Bishop’s unpublished writings: her letters, journals, and manuscripts. These have been used occasionally before by other critics. But nobody has exploited the rich mine of material available in this unpublished work with the persistence, the sheer consistency of purpose and discovery, that Costello shows throughout... This is a book that adds significantly to our appreciation of a poet in whose work truth slips in. as it were, through the cold particularities of perception and then slips quietly away again.

    —Richard Gray, Modern Language Review


  • Bonnie Costello, Professor of English at Boston University, is the general editor of The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore.

Book Details

  • 240 pages
  • 6-1/16 x 9-1/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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