On Modern Poetry: From Theory to Total Criticism by Robert Rowland Smith

By Robert Rowland Smith

All too usually, the historical past of poetry feedback within the twentieth Century is informed as a story of 2 aspects. whereas ‘Lit crit' pored over the author's each line,‘Theory' stood at the shoulder of texts to gaze into the metaphysical mists.

Drawing at the key insights of either Lit crit and conception, On sleek Poetry attempts to get past the competition among them, offering in its place a ‘total criticism' that pulls on all assets available.It combines ‘analytic irony' with ‘imaginative empathy' which will generate clean insights.

The topics mentioned within the first a part of the ebook comprise culture, voice, rhyme, rhetoric, and objects,bringing in critics corresponding to Eliot, Heidegger, Empson, Blackmur, and De guy. the second one half examines texts through Tennyson, Symons, Hopkins, Larkin and Prynne.

An unique exploration of poetry and its feedback, On smooth Poetry is an important consultant for readers and scholars in any respect degrees.

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Additional resources for On Modern Poetry: From Theory to Total Criticism

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The image is first and foremost the language in which the poem speaks to itself. Two or three lines through modern poetic theory 15 Excess This denseness of the image, especially when it has amassed meaning through its symbolic use by previous poets, points to a classic topos in poetic theory, namely that the poem exceeds itself – not just through images that have taken on the profound subjectivity I’m describing, but through the excess beauty we glimpsed in Pound, and so on. This excess – and it’s a word I have used several times in the chapter – plays off against the poem’s formal concision and cleanness, so that, schematically at least, the poem does the inverse of what the novel, with its formal open-endedness and exegetic approach to meaning, tends to do.

This can be the case in even the simplest of poetry: A Picture A little house with small windows, a gentle fall of the ground to a small 16 On Modern Poetry stream. The trees are both close and green, a tall sense of enclosure. There is a sky of blue and a faint sun through clouds. 9 Of course there is a tradition of naive art that lends the poem a modicum of aesthetic depth; and the fact that the poem concerns a picture means its relationship with the vernacular reality it purports to depict includes a complicating fold.

Most apparent is the narrative scene and the ‘meaning’ that comes with that, in the form of our speculations about the man’s psychology, who he is writing to, the back story, and so on. On top of the narrative, however – or underneath it – we have the original rhyme (letter/ better) along with a rhythm considered as a pattern of beats (two lots of four iambs, each with a soft ending in an extra beat). How do they work together, and in what sense do they create any meaning extra to that we can extract thanks to our interpretations?

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