Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2020
The Introduction traces the traditions, institutions, prerogatives, and entailments of poetry as they shape and impinge upon the work of the present. It also tracks the ways that contemporary social, political, and technological developments have radically altered the place of poetry in culture. It situates the book’s argument within the lines of thinking about poetry that are woven into Western thought since Plato. It does this quite selectively, and rather than provide a synthetic account of Western poetics, the goal is to articulate how several key ideas about poetry have been taken up by different writers across cultures and historical moments. The Introduction also outlines the historical scope of this book, which, while deeply invested in a longer history of poetry, will focus primarily on textual examples from the past forty (or so) years.