Robert Duncan Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Robert Duncan Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Of the many metaphors that Robert Duncan applied to his poetry—and very few poets have been so perceptive and articulate about their own practice—those dealing with limits, boundaries, and margins are numerous and permit a coherent if partial survey of his complex work. Such references are frequent in his poetry and are rooted in his life and his way of seeing. Living in San Francisco, at the edge of the North American continent, Duncan was acutely sensitive to the centrifugal pressures of his culture. Having been an adopted child, his identity and very name were under question during his early years. As a gay man, he felt distanced from “the accepted paradigms and conventions of the Protestant ethic.” As a Theosophist, his...

(The entire section is 3562 words.)