Figuring the Real

Allen Grossman

in True-Love

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780226309736
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309750 | DOI:
Figuring the Real

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This chapter says something about the interest or stake we have in the witness of poems—that is to say, something about the poetic interest, an interest evoked by the lure and shamelessness of what might be called “the real” or “the sacred,” or the highest value, in any case the authorizing term of poetic practice, which constitutes some part of the meaning of any poem. Using Wordsworth's poem “The Solitary Reaper” as an example, it considers the poetic principle (poesia), to which the speaker in the poem draws attention with “Behold her”—its figuration or look, and its action in the world. It is argued that the poetic interest is in the bringing to mind of our state of affairs in representation and the seeing of it as possessing a structure of a given kind and, in that sense only, solved.

Keywords: poems; poetic principle; poetic interest; real; sacred; Wordsworth; The Solitary Reaper; poesia; representation

Chapter.  7636 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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