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Everyday ReadingPoetry and Popular Culture in Modern America$
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Mike Chasar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158657

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158657.001.0001

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In Memoriam

(p.220) Epilogue
Everyday Reading

Mike Chasar

Columbia University Press

This chapter briefly presents the life of the author's grandmother Danny Salvatore and her letters, which included poetic writings, to husband Jimmy Salvatore. Jimmy was drafted for naval combat in World War II and subsequently stationed in the South Pacific. Danny would keep him up to date by sending single-space letters, sometimes poetically describing her day, other times using excerpts from literary texts—for instance, Richard Monckton Milnes' “The Brookside”—to conclude her day's letter. In the letter, Danny treats “The Brookside” as a public resource that popular poetry appears to have been: relating them to the situation at hand without bothering to cite the author, reading instead for the poem's relevance to her life, and treating it according to a “principle of utility” that Professor John Crowe Ransom deems unacceptable. Nevertheless, Danny does not appear unused to poetry at all, as she recognized in her study of Milnes' verse how it figured in her own experiences.

Keywords:   Danny Salvatore, Jimmy Salvatore, The Brookside, Richard Monckton Milnes, popular poetry, principle of utility, John Crowe Ransom

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