Chapter

Poems that Speak, Poems that Sing

Wyatt Prunty

in “Fallen from the Symboled World”

Published in print April 1990 | ISBN: 9780195057867
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855124 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195057867.003.0004
Poems that Speak, Poems that Sing

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Two types of contemporary poetry stand as opposites — plainspoken poems that are reticent about their intensity and lyrical poems that are both compulsive and musical. There are many other ways to distinguish contemporary poems, which must compete during what is a pluralistic period; but in thinking about different poems, especially the presuppositions behind the different modes of thought they employ, this chapter posits the extremes of speech and song in order to uncover what they suggest about the resources available to poets. There is more to such a distinction than our usual ideas about speaking and singing take into account. If we focus our attention on poems that speak and those that sing, we will see fundamental differences in the assumptions made by poets about the truth claims available to them.

Keywords: contemporary poetry; plainspoken poems; lyrical poems

Chapter.  20445 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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