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Modern Poetic Practice

Structure and Genesis


Peter Nicholas Baker

This book attempts to develop a generative criticism of poetic practice. The order of presentation follows a certain model for how the poem comes into being. Poetic practice as it is actualized in the work of the creative imagination stems from: memory as the place where the poem arises among the conflicts of the imagination; absence or the loss which weighs on the utterance and gives it urgency; desire as the force structuring the poem according to the subject's need; knowing or how the subject's experience of the world and other people finds expression; and style or how the poem exemplifies a compassionate understanding. Poets whose work is examined include Hardy, Mallarmé, Williams, Ungaretti, Apollinaire, Saint-John Perse, John Ashbery, and Frank O'Hara.
Contents: A generative criticism of poetic practice: models for memory, absence, desire, knowing, and style - Extended analyses of poetry by poets - English, American, French and Italian - University level.