Robert Penn Warren’s later poetry, specifically Rumor Verified and Altitudes and Extensions, deserves closer critical attention to the function served by the American past. Whether it is facing the bloody reality of westward expansion or acknowledging the alienation and dehumanization that results from the Industrial Revolution, Warren’s poems suggest a method of self-reflection that yields a fuller sense of American identity and, consequently, an awareness and knowledge of how to live in this modern world. A close study of the poetic techniques in “Going West” serves as a model for how Warren uses historical backdrops to employ his underlying philosophy that Americans must come to terms with the past in order to develop selfhood.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.