Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jul 1, 1990 - Poetry - 262 pages
0 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

Melodious guile: fictive pattern in poetic language

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

An academic poet adept at poeticizing his academic discourse, Hollander addresses the self-referential nature of poetry by considering how devices such as rhetorical questions and answers, imperatives ... Read full review


Questions of Poetry
Poetic Answers
Poetic Imperatives
Bondage Work
Necessary Hieroglyphs
Some Notes on Refrain
Spensers Undersong
A Long Line
The Poetics of Character
Examples and Fictions

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1990)

John Hollander has edited several Everyman's Library Pocket Poet volumes, including "Robert Frost", "Christmas Poems", "War Poems", "Marriage Poems", "Animal Poems", & "Garden Poems". He is the A. Bartlett Biamatti Professor of English at Yale University, & the author of numerous books of poetry & criticism. He was made a MacArthur Fellow in 1990.

Bibliographic information