The prose-poetry of James Agee : Samuel Barber's response

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jane K. Dressler (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Eddie Bass

Abstract: Samuel Barber composed Knoxville: Summer of 1915 in 1947 as a commissioned work for Eleanor Steber, who premiered the work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, April 9, 1948, Serge Koussevitzky conducting. The text, taken from James Agee’s “ Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” a prose-poem which first appeared in PARTISAN REVIEW, August-September, 1938, is notable for its use of poetic devices within prose form. The purpose of the study was twofold: to analyze the prose-poetry of Agee’s “ Knoxville: Summer of 1915” and to explore its influence on Barber’s musical setting in the areas of formal structure and melodic design. Agee’s concept of “Word Music” was defined, as were standard poetic devices used in the prose-poem. Particular attention was paid to word repetition, the punctuation it necessitated, and the poet’s use of distinctive one-syllable words.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1989
Barber, Samuel, $d 1910-1981 $x Criticism and interpretation
Agee, James, $d 1909-1955 $x Criticism and interpretation

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