Ageing, Loss, Recidivism …

John Kinsella

in Disclosed Poetics

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780719075582
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701034 | DOI:
Ageing, Loss, Recidivism …

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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The crumbling foundations were solid in the author's childhood. Reincarnated, he can expect another exposure in a different body. Ageing fuels visionary dreariness, but the spots in time are empty. Children are a great way of measuring one's concept of ageing. The author noted recently that his own childhood and school memories were being semi-deleted as his daughter grew older, and he is fascinated by the way ageing is treated in poetry anthologies. A poet of ageing, of the loss of the ability to love in ‘those’ ways, Thomas Hardy was the author's favourite poet at sixteen and seventeen. From his point of view, ageing involves a paradoxical relationship between the loss of some knowledge and ‘experience’, and the accumulation, increase or awareness of other knowledge and experience. The poetry of death of the young man and young woman reaches across gender divides, often to express a fear of ageing, and of its inevitable confrontation with mortality. Two words best sum up the shift in the author's poetics: mimetics and mnemonics.

Keywords: ageing; loss; poetry; childhood; knowledge; experience; death; mimetics; mnemonics; poetics

Chapter.  26254 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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