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The Substance of Shadow – A Darkening Trope in Poetic History - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Substance of Shadow: A Darkening Trope in Poetic History

John Hollander and Kenneth Gross


The Substance of Shadow explores the poetic lives and afterlives of shadow, focusing on British and American poetry from the Renaissance to the end of the twentieth century. It investigates shadow’s force as a metaphoric mirror, as material for parable. It tracks the kind of thinking that is done with shadow, and in shadow, how we put shadows to use. Shadow becomes, in Western poetry, a metaphor for the work of imagination and dream, an image of mental and physical refuge and yet also an image of death, or fear of death, as well as of the darker regions of doubt and fear. It measures absence a ... More

Keywords: poetry, shadow, shade, substance, tradition, allusion, metaphor, figuration, doubt

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226354279
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226354309.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Hollander, author
Yale University

Kenneth Gross, editor
University of Rochester

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