Chapter

Untidy Activity

James Longenbach

in The Resistance to Poetry

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780226492490
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226492513 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226492513.003.0005
Untidy Activity

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Uselessness has been a distinguishing feature of a work of art since Kant, but anyone who dreams or falls in love has known the freedom of forgetting ourselves so that we might discover we are different from ourselves. How does the act of a poem, the act embodied in its being written or being read, instill this feeling in us? How can poetic language simultaneously ask us to imagine a world and incite us to forget it, distracting us from it simultaneously renders viscerally there?

Keywords: poems; poetry; uselessness; art; poetic language

Chapter.  3700 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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