Minimalism and micro-poetry
in Reading poetry
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This chapter considers the forms of poetic compression, and covers some of the more extreme forms of poetic expression. There is an extreme form of compression which we might call 'micro-poetry', where the page contains a single word, or a modified form of a word, or a fragment of a word, or even just a gesture that draws attention to the absence of words. The chapter looks at the roots of minimalism, which is mainly a twentieth-century phenomenon in poetry. The literary figure whose philosophy and rhetoric were most similar to that of Adolf Loos was the American poet Ezra Pound, who was living in London just before the First World War, and was keen to make a radical break with the literary past.

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