poetry & politics: lenses

July 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

lyrical in opposition to or in conjunction with the rhetorical

–“the value of anger as a political/poetical resource” (Despres)

community & collective identity
–related to pronominal forms (I-thou; you; we/our)
–related to readership & address (interpellation)
–different readers, communities of readers
–the bardic role: targeted audience, ‘we’
–critical interest in the first person plural (“we”):

Bonnie Costello: ‘impersonal personal’ 2009: “in what circumstances and in what terms might the poet speak of ‘we’?”

WR Johnson: ‘choral poetry’ 1982

Sharon Cameron: ‘amplified voice’ (Lyric Time, 1979)
(cited in Hunter, “Lyric & Its Discontents”)

empathetic imagination (mobilization); self moving into world

Antigone and Creon
–individual/repressed contra state; challenges to the state
–female virtu (Despres)
–poetry & the state; Plato

beauty is truth; truth beauty
–‘documentary adequacy’ (Heaney) & poetic form

poetic knowledge as a “thinking through the body” (Despres)
–the “bedrock of moral intelligence for much of feminist writing” (Despres)
écriture féminine; écriture au féminin
–body as resource, bedrock, source of power; vulnerabilities of source of power & knowledge
–Mistral: earthenware vessels
–links to ecopoetry; earth as ground for the body
–linked to ‘in situ’
–Philoctetes as model for artist/poet figure (wounded, ineffective)

–Rich, Dream of a Common Language

in situ
–a poem begins in a particular moment, in a particular place, in a particular body (Despres)
–poetry stands inside history, histories

a common language
–link back to community; poetry as drive to connect
–link to dream

–vision, political vision
–empathetic imagining
–poetry as dreaming body



poetry as knowledge or capacity
–Oren Izenberg 2011, Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life
–Bonnefoy “has proposed an ethical ‘pact’ (alliance) between poet and reader, ‘another way of knowing,’ the purpose of which is to ‘renew our relationship with others'” in Hunter, Lyric and its Discontents, p.86
–Bonnefoy: ‘Foreword: Ending the Mission, Inaugurating the Pact.’ in 20th Century French Poetry: A Critical Anthology2010

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