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The Resistance to Poetry
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The Resistance to Poetry

James Longenbach


Poems inspire our trust, argues this work, because they don't necessarily ask to be trusted. Theirs is the language of self-questioning—metaphors that turn against themselves, syntax that moves one way because it threatens to move another. Poems resist themselves more strenuously than they are resisted by the cultures receiving them. But the resistance to poetry is quite specifically the wonder of poetry. Considering a wide array of poets, from Virgil and Milton to Dickinson and Glück, the book suggests that poems convey knowledge only inasmuch as they refuse to be vehicles for the efficient t ... More

Keywords: poems, trust, self-questioning, metaphors, syntax, resistance to poetry, poets, Virgil, Milton, Dickinson

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780226492490
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226492513.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Longenbach, author