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Saying Yes at Lightning

Threat and the Provisional Image in Post-Romantic Poetry


Kevin O'Brien

Saying Yes at Lightning explores how four poets – Gerard Manley Hopkins, H. D., Osip Mandelstam, and William Carlos Williams – use imagery to confront that which is most deeply threatening to them. In showing how risky subject matter is matched by stylistic risk, the author sheds light on a previously unexplored, but quite significant, dynamic in post-romantic poetry – the pervasive use of «provisional» or destabilized images.