Holding Patterns: Temporary Poetics in Contemporary Poetry

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SUNY Press, Mar 29, 2001 - Poetry - 182 pages
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Holding Patterns provides a sympathetic criticism of poems, one that avoids the appliance of criticism and that self-consciously persists in close readings of texts as the directing force of its argument. Presently, contemporary literary criticism and contemporary poetry in America seem at cross-purposes. Indeed, current literary critics seldom address the poems of their contemporaries. While structuralists and other schools of critics seek terms, generalizations, and whole systems to account for and to understand poems, poets themselves repeatedly assert that each poem has its own poetic and that no system applies to their writing. This book reads poems by contemporary poets, such as Jorie Graham, Charles Wright, Denis Johnson, and Amy Clampitt, not to illuminate a theory but to shed light on the poem.

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Contents

The Static Pulse
3
Recounting Linda Greggs Ghosts
7
Jorie Graham in Stitches
17
Pictura Poesis Galvin and Lowell
37
James Wright Louise Gliick The Colon
47
Water Everywhere Merwin Stafford Dugan Merrill
61
Forche Fenton and Fighting
77
Taking or Leaving It Amy Clampitt
91
Holes in the Web Denis Johnson
117
The Long Line in Jorie Graham and Charles Wright
139
CONCLUSION
155
NOTES
159
BIBLIOGRAPHY
169
INDEX
175
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About the author (2001)

Daniel McGuiness is Associate Professor of Writing at Loyola College.

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