Abstract

"A Dialectic of Contrasts" details how the mid-twentieth century American poets Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov employed their understanding of Whitehead’s notion of "contrast" to imagine poems closely linked to ecology and cosmology. Exploring the references to Whitehead’s heterogeneous dialectic of contrasts in the Duncan/Levertov correspondence, the article displays the forcible role Whitehead’s thought played in directing the two poets to a linguistic-organic poetics invested in nonhuman agency.

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