ISBN-10: 081735784X

ISBN-13: 9780817357849

Literary historical past usually locates the first circulation towards poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse performed opposed to a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the 19th century. the unique essays in lively Romanticism problem this interpretation by way of tracing the basic continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental hobbies in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.

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Additional info for Active Romanticism: The Radical Impulse in Nineteenth-Century and Contemporary Poetic Practice (Modern & Contemporary Poetics)

Example text

Thoreau goes even further in his suggestion. —it is an ingenious music. If it vibrates in the pores of the wood then it vibrates in the pores of the skin, in the lacunae of the bones—our skin and our bones. The work of writing creates in oneself a musical tension by which another music may be heard. We sing to hear that other singing—a song that cannot be heard save against the music of our own voice. It is this genius that repairs us (this genius always imperfectly other), and repairs not only us, but our relation to the world we sing about.

A poem begins in a tranquility its own work ends; it begins in an absence whose end is presence—but here no presence is pure. It is a presence complicated by the fact of itself. The poet places herself in this crisis of herself, a crisis the poem actualizes, conjures into a world, makes real even as it undermines its own reality. This labyrinth-­self, this riddle-­I, is curious prologue to the difficulty of representation, in which the certainty of self is transformed into uncertainty so that the world can be real and simultaneously questionable in its reality.

P. 94. l. 76, for boated, read bloated. 24 Elizabeth Willis P. 101. l. laft but one, for ifle, read ifles. P. 132. l. laft but 6, for exoitic, read exotic. (viii) The end of the text is similarly complicated, sidetracked, all but evaded. In the last few pages of the poem, where a conventional pastoral might deliver a domesticated shepherdess, Darwin swerves into a further rewriting of mythic and literary fig­ures. Potential threats appear—a leopard, a swan—but, as if undoing Leda’s fate, they are tamed, appearing among the protagonist’s ceremonial parade, guarding her steps, gliding along in lateral relation as its social and erotic sphere opens further.

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Active Romanticism: The Radical Impulse in Nineteenth-Century and Contemporary Poetic Practice (Modern & Contemporary Poetics)


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