This collection brings together some of the most prominent critics of contemporary poetry and some of the most significant poets working in the English language today, to offer a critical assessment of the nature and function of poetic thought. Working at once with questions of form, literary theory and philosophy, this volume gives an extraordinarily diverse, original and mobile account of the kind of ‘thinking’ that poetry can do. The conviction that moves through the collection as a whole is that poetry is not an addition to thought, nor a vehicle to express a given idea, nor an ornamental language in which thinking might find itself couched. Rather, all the essays suggest that poetry itself thinks, in ways that other forms of expression cannot, thus making new intellectual, political and cultural formulations possible.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Textual Practice.
1. Introduction: Thinking Poetry Peter Nicholls and Peter Boxall 2. Poetic Thought J.H. Prynne 3. The Melodics of Long Poems Simon Jarvis 4. Open Oppen: Linguistic fragmentation and the poetic proposition Peter Middleton 5. Pound's New Criticism Rebecca Beasley 6. La filosofica famiglia: Cavalcanti, Avicenna, and the 'form' of Ezra Pound's Pisan Cantos Ronald Bush 7. Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates Maud Ellmann 8. Language in Migration: Multilingualism and exophonic writing in the new poetics Marjorie Perloff 9. Glossing Gloss and its Undertow John Wilkinson 10. Wrong Poetry Keston Sutherland