One of the most pervasive models for “world” and “global” literature has been the formula foreign form and local content. New literature issues, we are told, from the introduction of a foreign form into a local environment. Although Franco Moretti and others have usually applied the paradigm to the novel, what happens when it is put to the test with other genres, such as poetry? What is the place of such ideas in understanding poetry in a global age? Critically reexamining the foreign form and local content model in relation to postcolonial and Western poems written in English, this paper seeks to develop alternative ways of conceptualizing poetry and other literary forms in their global dimensionality.
Jahan Ramazani is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His books include A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the Harry Levin Prize, and Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent book is Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013). An associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012), he has also co-edited several Norton anthologies.He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor.