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The Resistance to Poetry.

By: Longenbach, James.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (139 p.).ISBN: 9780226492513.Subject(s): American poetry -- 21st century -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc | Poetry -- History and criticism -- Theory, etcGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: The Resistance to PoetryDDC classification: 809.1 LOC classification: PS325Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
CONTENTS -- Preface -- I. The Resistance to Poetry -- II. The End of the Line -- III. Forms of Disjunction -- IV. Song and Story -- V. Untidy Activity -- VI. The Spokenness of Poetry -- VII. The Other Hand -- VIII. Leaving Things Out -- IX. Composed Wonder -- Bibliography -- Index
Summary: Poems inspire our trust, argues James Longenbach in this bracing work, because they don't necessarily ask to be trusted. Theirs is the language of self-questioning-metaphors that turn against themselves, syntax that moves one way because it threatens to move another. Poems resist themselves more strenuously than they are resisted by the cultures receiving them. But the resistance to poetry is quite specifically the wonder of poetry. Considering a wide array of poets, from Virgil and Milton to Dickinson and Glück, Longenbach suggests that poems convey knowledge only inasmuch as they refuse to b
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CONTENTS -- Preface -- I. The Resistance to Poetry -- II. The End of the Line -- III. Forms of Disjunction -- IV. Song and Story -- V. Untidy Activity -- VI. The Spokenness of Poetry -- VII. The Other Hand -- VIII. Leaving Things Out -- IX. Composed Wonder -- Bibliography -- Index

Poems inspire our trust, argues James Longenbach in this bracing work, because they don't necessarily ask to be trusted. Theirs is the language of self-questioning-metaphors that turn against themselves, syntax that moves one way because it threatens to move another. Poems resist themselves more strenuously than they are resisted by the cultures receiving them. But the resistance to poetry is quite specifically the wonder of poetry. Considering a wide array of poets, from Virgil and Milton to Dickinson and Glück, Longenbach suggests that poems convey knowledge only inasmuch as they refuse to b

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

It is axiomatic that poetry resists our attempts to make sense of it. Here, Longenbach argues that the language of poetry resists itself even more than its readers and by doing so conquers our resistance to its obscurity. He argues further that the accessibility of much contemporary poetry has replaced "inwardness"-the thing that makes it poetry. Both a poet himself (e.g., Fleet River) and the author of major studies on poetry (e.g., Modern Poetry After Modernism), Longenbach offers an argument that runs counter to Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks's Understanding Poetry (1950). We read poetry not to understand, he counters, but "to experience the sensation, the sound, of words leaping just beyond our capacity to know them certainly." Discovering in a poem something strange in what we thought familiar, we draw fresh wonder at the alien beauty of our own becoming in the world. Longenbach's spare method is that of the poet, his careful exposition like that of a poem. Both academic and public libraries should make room for this beautiful little book.-Vince Brewton, Univ. of North Alabama (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

In this startlingly distilled study, Longenbach (Univ. of Rochester) asks the reader "to feel poetry turning against itself again and again ... in unexpected detours of syntax, the exfoliating connotations of metaphor." The wonder of language, he says, depends less on its meaning "than on the ways in which [language] means." A prolific and original critic of modern American poetry, Longenbach structures proofs to his unorthodox theorem in an attractive, passionate, and deeply intellectual "guide" to prosody. He argues that line arrangement now determines meaning, replacing metered, rhymed, end-stopped lines. The reader of poetry should learn to "feel [the] interplay" of a poet's many voices and pay attention to what a poet does not say. Poems allow one to find "the pleasure of the unintelligibility of the world" and to crave something beyond a poem's power. The author transcribes myriad examples from the work of a goodly number of poets, including Virgil, Milton, Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Louise Gluck, and Charles Wright. Longenbach chalks proofs on a slate crafted of wide reading and the earned knowledge of a working poet. Those who wish to understand contemporary American poetry--and poets, of course--should accept the challenge of reading this book. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. F. Cayton emeritus, Marietta College

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