Poetry reading is a topic about which there is always something more that can usefully be said. This book explores key aspects of poetry by discussing poems which are quoted in full and then treated in a sustained way. It considers a broad range of poetry, using examples taken from the Tudor period to the twenty-first century. Some are very traditional, and some are very avant-garde, and most are somewhere in between, so it is unusually broad and eclectic in its generic range. The book invites readers to cultivate generic generosity, and entertain a willingness to be astonished by the bizarre practices poets sometimes indulge in, in the privacy of their garrets, and among consenting adults. The emphasis is on meanings rather than words, looking beyond technical devices like alliteration and assonance so that poems are understood as dynamic structures creating specific ends and effects. The three sections cover progressively expanding areas. The first deals with such basics as imagery, diction and metre; the second concerns broader matters, such as poetry and context, and the reading of sequences of poems. The third section looks at 'theorised' readings and the 'textual genesis' of poems from manuscript to print. By adopting a smallish personal 'stable' of writers whose work is followed in this long-term way, a poetry reader can develop the kind of intimacy with authors that brings a sense of confidence and purpose.
Spanish contemporary poetry is currently enjoying exceptional dynamism and vitality. This book presents a selection of Spanish peninsular poetry from the 1970s to the present day. It also presents an introductory study of the most relevant poetic trends and poetic groups of the period, followed by guided and close readings of each poem. The poetic selection is divided into sections and subsections in order to aid its pedagogical intent. It covers the poetry written during the transition to democracy; the emergence of poetry written by women in the 1980s; and the Spanish poetic field of the 1990s. The book also covers the poetry written at the turn of the new millennium and some of the youngest voices in Spanish poetry today. The first part deals with the poetry written in the twenty years or so that followed the transition to democracy in Spain, which although considered contemporary may be viewed by the young reader as firmly grounded in the past. In contrast, the second part considers the poetry that has been written and published in Spain during the new millennium. The visual arts and the prevalence of visual culture in the new millennium, in television, cinema or the plastic arts, also had a significant effect on the poetry being written. Purism and metapoetry were also interesting aspects that the poets of the new millennium explored. The current map of Spanish poetry is a very diverse one in which many aesthetics and authors converge.
This book discusses W. H. Auden's poetry, and other poetry of the modern
era; some of it concerns Auden himself. Auden was particularly important for
thinking about the relationship between the extraordinary and the everyday as
experienced by historical actors and in the histories written about them.
Discussing the twentieth-century development of recording and writing systems
among the Vai people of Liberia, anthropologist Jack Goody noted that several
Vai records had been compiled by men who had worked as cooks at some point. To
employ a poetical maid was a fashionable thing to do and literacy in a cook was
certainly a useful commodity. The book explores to what did Auden pay homage to
in 'Homage to Clio'; and why might a poet evoke the Muse of
History. Auden wrote a number of poems about historical events; two are
famous for his later renunciation of their historiography. 'Spain
1937' was about a civil war that had already been designated
'historical'. He had spent time in Spain, was witness to violence
perpetrated by both sides during the Civil War. Historiography is to history as
poetics is to poetry. In Homage to Clio, the poet reveals the Muse of History as
a blank-faced girl, always, forever, present when anything happens, but with
absolutely nothing to say. The book explores whether Auden's
Historia is silent on the page as well as mute in her person.
Minimalism and micro-poetry
Compression in some form is widely felt to be a fundamental aspect
of poetry, and it is an obvious feature of the short lyric poem, typic
ally of 12–20 or so lines. But there are two further possible steps
down in scale, firstly to minimalism, as seen in forms such as the
haiku – a rigidly codified verse style which, in its western form,
properly consists of just 17 syllables made up across three short
lines, each line usually containing only two or three words. On a
similar scale is the imagist poem, popular in the early
Poetry with theory
In the 1980s and ’90s, at the height of the so-called ‘theory wars’
between traditional and theoretical approaches to literature, the
notion of close reading was treated with great suspicion. Terry
Eagleton, for instance, wrote that calling for close reading ‘suggests
an attention to this rather than something else: to the “words
on the page” rather than to the context which produced and surrounds them’.1 If it were true that the context ‘produced’ the text,
there would be little point in studying anything but context. But
it isn’t, of
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: An anthology (2016), the largest ever collection of its kind. The monograph-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode, and it is linked to the social context, not only by local allegory and allusion but by its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set within the context of this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama and prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are discussed individually. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated during the Renaissance, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. The poems in the Anthology have been edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts, and the Textual Notes comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names. Seldom, if ever, has a cross-section of English Renaissance poetry been textually annotated in such detail.
This book is about Thomas Hood, a nineteenth-century writer and illustrator whose work is characterized by play. It argues that looking closely at Hood illuminates three areas of nineteenth-century cultural production that modern scholarship has yet fully to explore: the output of the years 1824-40; comic poetry; and the grotesque. These three areas of discomfort are linked, each of them threatens boundaries that are convenient for literary criticism. The book explores Hood's early career at the London Magazine, restoring the dynamic context in which he began experimenting with voice and genre. It examines the connection between the London's liberal politics and its culture of play. The book concerns with the effects of Hood's remarkably pluralistic approach to words, texts, and readers, both as material entities and as imaginative projections. It considers Hood's puns, their effects, their detractors, and the cultural politics of punning in the nineteenth century. The book examines the politics of Hood's play in relation to nineteenth-century debate about labour and leisure. Hood's work in relationship to the so-called 'minor' or 'illegitimate' theatre of the 1820s and 1830s is analyzed. Hood's work plays out the possibilities of an emergent cultural democracy: his poetry is practically and ideologically allied with the forms, subjects, and modes of illegitimate theatre. Hood's upbringing in a changing print culture makes him unsually alert to and appreciative of the play of language, the serendipitous intertextuality of the street where signs are in constant dialogue with one another.
Spanish contemporary poetry: a brief mention of its precedents
Chris Perriam stated, at the end of the 1990s, that ‘[t]he twenty-odd years
following the death of Franco … ha[d] been ones of extraordinary vitality
for poetry’ (1999: 198). Indeed, those were decades of intense liveliness
in the poetry of Spain but the years that followed, up until the present
moment, have seen equally – if not more greatly – animated developments,
dynamism and vitality. Numerous interesting and innovative reworkings
of poetic traditions at the turn of the new
Poetry of experience and poetry of difference
LUIS GARCÍA MONTERO
Merece la pena (Un jueves telefónico)
Trist el qui mai ha perdut
per amor una casa.
Sobre las diez te llamo
para decir que tengo diez llamadas,
otra reunión, seis cartas,
una mañana espesa, varias citas
y nostalgia de ti.
El teléfono tiene rumor de barco hundido,
burbujas y silencios.
Sobre las doce y media
llamas para contarme tus llamadas,
cómo va tu trabajo,
This is a companion to Pastoral poetry of the English Renaissance: an anthology (2016), supporting the earlier volume with a range of critical and textual material. The book-length Introduction traces the course of pastoral from antiquity to the present day. The historical account is woven into a thematic map of the richly varied pastoral mode. Pastoral is linked to its social context, in terms of not only direct allusion but its deeper origins and affinities. English Renaissance pastoral is set in this total perspective. Besides the formal eclogue, the study covers many genres: lyric, epode, georgic, country-house poem, ballad, romantic epic, drama, prose romance. Major practitioners like Theocritus, Virgil, Sidney, Spenser, Drayton and Milton are individually discussed. The Introduction also charts the many means by which pastoral texts circulated in that age, with implications for the history and reception of all Early Modern poetry. All poems in the Anthology were edited from the original manuscripts and early printed texts. The Textual Notes in the present volume comprehensively document the sources and variant readings. There are also notes on the poets, and analytical indices of themes, genres, and various categories of proper names.