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2 - Worlds and Selves

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2020

Eric Falci
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

This chapter considers the ways that poems construct forms of subjectivity. While the unproblematized, monologic lyric subject is a problematic figure, poems still have the capacity to construct and stage more viable modes of subjectivity and self-making. And such a reconfigured subject can become much more attentive to its embedding in various networks of social, economic, and ecological relations. In this way, the value of contemporary poetry inheres precisely in its continuing and critical interest in the status of subjectivity and of individual life within world systems that are unthinkable at the level of the human. Without reaching back once again to an outmoded model of the Romantic subject, much contemporary poetry seeks ways to represent the precariousness and vicissitudes of individual experience and to frame those experiences as more than simply “individual,” but rather as modes of responsiveness to social and environmental conditions. The chapter takes up poems by John Ashbery, Rae Armantrout, Roy Fisher, Jorie Graham, Claudia Rankine, and Layli Long Soldier.

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The Value of Poetry , pp. 49 - 88
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Worlds and Selves
  • Eric Falci, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: The Value of Poetry
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108676915.003
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Worlds and Selves
  • Eric Falci, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: The Value of Poetry
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108676915.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Worlds and Selves
  • Eric Falci, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: The Value of Poetry
  • Online publication: 20 November 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108676915.003
Available formats
×