Publication Year

1979

Keywords

Poetry, reckonings, sense, language, writing

Disciplines

Creative Writing | Poetry | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The so-called "obscurity" or lack of direct meaning in much of modern poetry has given rise to criticism about the validity of such literary undertakings in an already befuddled world. If language proposes to communicate, what then, does the modern poet mean by his scrambling of time, his leaping unannounced from thought to thought, his discordant webs of images and words in contexts for which they were never designed? Admittedly, the language of poetry has historically been a language of surprise. Yet behind the language was always a homogenous charge of feeling, an intent to embed a specific emotion and experience in the consciousness of the reader. But ever since poetry has moved away from its "poetic" impulses of the nineteenth century, by which is meant it has lost its formal diction, and its tendency toward otherworldly, misty or decidedly romantic subject matter, it no longer gives the reader occasion to bring any preconceived notions of what is poetic to the work. The poem has to be read on its own terms, and very often those terms can appear too remote for cognizant apprehension. Intellectual, primal, emotional and concrete spheres of human experience seem to explode in pleasing, though seemingly inaccessible chains of words.

Share

 
COinS