Open ground: American mythologies and Jorie Graham's "Pollock and Canvas"

Selby, Nick ORCID: (2006) Open ground: American mythologies and Jorie Graham's "Pollock and Canvas". Word and Image, 22 (2). pp. 128-145. ISSN 1943-2178

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In the poem ‘Pollock and Canvas’, from her 1987 collection The End of Beauty, Jorie Graham describes Jackson Pollock's radical reinvention of painting as a struggle to ‘keep the gap alive’.1 This essay argues that whilst such a struggle articulates a desire (and a fear) that Graham sees as central to Pollock's painting, it can also be seen to animate her own poetics, her own sense of what it might mean to be an American poet at the turn of the twentieth century. Indeed, Graham's reading of Pollock in this poem depends on a poetic process of opening up America's mythological imagination of itself. Graham's attempt in ‘Pollock and Canvas’ to keep the gap alive signals an attempt to investigate the ways in which America has configured itself both literally and metaphorically as open ground.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > American Studies
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:55
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:27
DOI: 10.1080/02666286.2006.10435741

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