Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language

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Yale University Press, Jul 1, 1990 - Poetry - 262 pages
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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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Melodious guile: fictive pattern in poetic language

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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

Contents

Questions of Poetry
18
Poetic Answers
41
Poetic Imperatives
64
Bondage Work
85
Necessary Hieroglyphs
111
Some Notes on Refrain
130
Spensers Undersong
148
A Long Line
164
The Poetics of Character
194
Examples and Fictions
207
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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.

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