Chapter

Civility

Robert Von Hallberg

in Lyric Powers

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226865003
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226865027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226865027.003.0004
Civility

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The dominant tradition in lyric poetry presumes the distinctness of poetic language—its diction and syntax—from the ordinary idioms of contemporary speech or prose. This sense of poetic language as not bound to social usage suits the orphic poetics examined in Chapters 1 and 2. However, many ambitious poems are indifferent to orphic traditions; they instead derive authority from a civil order. They signal the roots of their authority by drawing on the resources of recognizable speech. This chapter discusses various poems that exemplify a counterpole to the orphic mode. It argues that, whereas vatic writing derives authority ultimately from a religious order of experience or belief, the speech-based poetry under discussion here instead rests on a rich understanding of secular social relations.

Keywords: lyric poetry; poetic language; orphic poetics; civil order; secular social relations; civility; authority

Chapter.  12241 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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