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.
Table of Contents
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
Peter Nicholls is Professor of English at New York University, USA. His publications include Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing (1984), Modernisms: A Literary Guide (1995), George Oppen and the Fate of Modernism (2007) and many articles and essays on literature and theory. He was editor of Textual Practice from 2002-8.
Peter Boxall is Professor of English at the University of Sussex, UK. Recent books include Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction (2006) and Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism (2009). He has been the editor of Textual Practice since 2009.