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By James Longenbach

Poems encourage our belief, argues James Longenbach during this bracing paintings, simply because they do not inevitably ask to be depended on. Theirs is the language of self-questioning--metaphors that flip opposed to themselves, syntax that strikes a technique since it threatens to maneuver one other. Poems withstand themselves extra strenuously than they're resisted by way of the cultures receiving them.

But the resistance to poetry is kind of particularly the beauty of poetry. contemplating a wide range of poets, from Virgil and Milton to Dickinson and Glück, Longenbach means that poems show wisdom in simple terms inasmuch as they do not want to be cars for the effective transmission of information. in reality, this self-resistance is the resource of the reader's excitement: we learn poetry to not get away trouble yet to embody it.

An astute author and critic of poems, Longenbach makes his case via a sustained engagement with the language of poetry. every one bankruptcy brings a clean point of view to a vital point of poetry (line, syntax, figurative language, voice, disjunction) and exhibits that the facility of poetry relies much less on which means than at the manner within which it means--on the temporal procedure we negotiate within the act of analyzing or writing a poem. Readers and writers who embody that approach, Longenbach asserts, necessarily draw back from the exaggeration of the cultural strength of poetry in complete information that to inflate a poem's declare on our realization is to weaken it.

A sleek and expert research, The Resistance to Poetry honors poetry via permitting it to be what it truly is. This booklet arrives at a serious moment--at a time whilst many folks try to mould and industry poetry into whatever it really is not.

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