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Melodious guile : fictive pattern in poetic language

Author: John Hollander
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [1988]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Demonstrating a poet's imaginative ear and a critic's range of concern, John Hollander here writes about the "melodious guile" of poetry, explaining how poems frame parables about themselves. Hollander considers works by Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth, chiefly, plus a range of other poets including Chaucer, Keats, Rossetti, Tennyson, Frost, Stevens, and Auden. He also presents certain poems of his own, showing how they
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Hollander
ISBN: 0300042930 9780300042931 0300049048 9780300049046
OCLC Number: 17805901
Notes: "Some of these essays originally appeared, often in different form, in other places"--Preface.
Description: x, 262 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Turnings and Fashionings --
Questions of Poetry --
Poetic Answers --
Poetic Imperatives --
Garlands of Her Own: Bondage, Work, and Freedom --
Necessary Hieroglyphs --
Breaking into Song: Some Notes on Refrain --
Spenser's Undersong --
The Footing of His Feet: A Long Line Leads to Another --
Dallying Nicely with Words: Poetic Linguistics --
The Poetics of Character --
The Philosopher's Cat: Examples and Fictions.
Responsibility: John Hollander.

Abstract:

Demonstrating a poet's imaginative ear and a critic's range of concern, John Hollander here writes about the "melodious guile" of poetry, explaining how poems frame parables about themselves. Hollander considers works by Spenser, Milton, Wordsworth, chiefly, plus a range of other poets including Chaucer, Keats, Rossetti, Tennyson, Frost, Stevens, and Auden. He also presents certain poems of his own, showing how they anticipate and exemplify the observations contained in this volume.

Hollander discusses different levels of patterning in verse, examining how such rhetorical schemes as rhyme, word order, and stanza form not only support and display figures of speech, but often themselves become the strongest and most moving of metaphors. He explains that devices such as rhetorical questions and imperatives, inversions, egregiously long lines, and sonnet pattern and refrain all exist in poetry to tell stories about the way the poems operate. He also focuses on larger issues in poetics in terms of their figurative use: concepts such as "character" and "occasion" and, finally, the ways in which the differences between example and metaphor point up the contrasts between philosophers' and poets' stances toward their own language. Throughout, because of his view that poetry does indeed represent the world of which it is part, Hollander implicitly opposes certain positions taken both by recent literary theory and its self-designated "humanist" antagonists.

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