Irony and distance in John Crowe Ransom's poetry : a computer-assisted study
By the time the Fugitive movement was launched between 1922 and 1925, Ransom's poetic technique had changed in a remarkable fashion which is the main topic of the thesis. Gone was a direct, almost brutally sarcastic manner to be replaced with a polished irony that places a considerable distance between him, his subject and his reader. He is no longer involved in the narrative action of the poems as in Poems about God, and there is more concentration on the action of the poems than description. In The Fugitive (1922-1925) Ransom published his most successful poems such as: "Ego", "Bells for John Whiteside Daughter", "Philomela", "First Travels of Max", "Captain Carpenter", "Prometheus in Straits" "Ada Ruel", "Old Mansion", "Blue Girls", "Adventure This Side of Pluralism", an "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son". These poems and a number of others were also published in separate collections, Chills and Fever (1924), Grace after Meat (1924). Some of these poems underwent few changes while others were revised drastically. The Fugitive group disbanded in 1926 and their magazine ceased publication. In 1927, Ransom published Two Gentlemen in Bonds. In this last book of verse Ransom introduced sonnets for the first time in his publications, though he had experimental once before in "Sunset". After 1927 some members of the Fugitive group began to reestablish contact and they soon became Agrarians in the economic, political, agricultural, and perhaps literal sense of the word. During the Agrarian years (1927-1938), Ransom was busy in three spheres: professor of English at Vanderbilt University, contributing to the editorship of the Agrarian publications, I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition, (1930), and Who Owns America? A New Declaration of Independence (1936), and finally publishing his first works of literary criticism; God without Thunder: An Unorthodox Defence of Orthodoxy (1930) and The World's Body (1938).