Orality, Form, and Lyric Unity : Poetics of Michael Donaghy and Don Paterson book cover
1st Edition

Orality, Form, and Lyric Unity
Poetics of Michael Donaghy and Don Paterson

  • Available for pre-order on December 28, 2022. Item will ship after January 18, 2023
ISBN 9781032232997
January 18, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
136 Pages

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Book Description

Orality, Form, and Lyric Unity examines the poetic works of Michael Donaghy and Don Paterson and their advancement of a poetics of sound, sense, and language of meaning. Observing Donaghy’s critical perspectives on orality, tradition, and memory, and Don Paterson’s systems of collective relation and “lyric unity,” this volume explores the intellectual curiosity of both poets from the classical to contemporary, perceived in music, literature, philosophy, scientific thought, and the rituals and austerities of the transcendent. This text also explores the tensions between craft and spontaneity, and between the intellect and intuition occupying their work, along with a fundamental respect for form as the poet’s guiding principle. Investigating this overlap in critical perspective, Orality, Form, and Lyric Unity exposes persuasive rhetoric, and pursues a nuanced understanding of the enigmatic complexity of poetic language and its critical context. This volume interrogates valuable insights into form, language, and poetics, and clarifies and reframes these, with a focus on the creative process for readers interested in poetry and the informative nature of these works.

Table of Contents


1. Michael Donaghy: Form, Memory, and Oral Poetics

Form as a Shaping Force for Meaning

The Logic of Form, the Mechanics of Magic

Complexity as a Strategy

Poems in Relation

Cryptic Logistics

The Living Word

Oral Tradition as a Model

Oral Culture as a Source

Making Connections, Forging a Context

Orality on the Page

Text of an Oral Tradition

Word Perfect

The Function of Expression

Irish Traditional Music: A Performative Model

"I Told My Tale Well"

Conclusion: Rational Mystic

2. Don Paterson: Orality, Reality, and "One Big Word"

Context and Voice

Orality and Unity: Oneness of a Word

Poetic Form: Elements in Relation

Sound System

The Art of the Uncontrived

Rational Rhythms

Unity and Truth: A Relative Perspective

Borges and the Divine Utterance

"Nothing Was Broken": Redemption, Order, and Emptiness

Religion and The Absolute

Illuminating the Mundane

Conclusion: Lyric Faith


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Beverley Nadin was awarded a doctorate in Creative Writing by Newcastle University in 2019. Her poetry has won, amongst other prizes, a commendation in the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition and second prize in the Poetry London Competition. Her poems are published in journals and anthologies including PN Review, The Rialto, Magma, The North, and Long Poem Magazine. This will be her first critical publication. She has no current academic affiliation.