Such Rare Citings: The Prose Poem in English Literature

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
Such Rare Citings is the first full-length account of the British prose poem, its history, and status as a genre. Prose poetry is not a recognized literary form in England, where it remains largely unknown. This book not only aims to place British prose poetry within the larger literary framework, but also contributes to the discussion of what constitutes the genre, while posing the question: is there a discernible "British style"? The author examines the structure and style of prose poems together with texts that move toward or away from the form in order to locate and explain the genre's defining characteristics. Extending from the Romantic period to the twentieth century, Such Rare Citings offers analyses of prose poems by writers from Coleridge to Samuel Beckett. It uncovers the historical development of the genre in Britain, occasionally thwarted by writers themselves, and calls for inclusion in theoretical discussion and international anthologies.

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Page 78 - Without measure were the architraves, past number were the archways, beyond memory the gates. Within were stairs that scaled the eternities above, that descended to the eternities below: above was below, below was above, to the man stripped of gravitating body: depth was swallowed up in height insurmountable, height was swallowed up in depth unfathomable.
Page 60 - But Cain said, ‘Didst thou not find favour in the sight of the Lord thy God?' The Shape answered, ‘The Lord is God of the living only, the dead have another God.' Then the child Enos lifted up his eyes and prayed; but Cain rejoiced secretly in his heart
Page 146 - as follows: The poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection into the axis of combination. Equivalence is promoted to the constitutive device of the sequence. In poetry one syllable is equalized with any other syllable of the same sequence; word stress is assumed to equal word stress, as unstress equals unstress; prosodic long is matched with long, and short with short.
Page 245 - The form and the chaos remain separate. The latter is not reduced to the former. That is why the form itself becomes a preoccupation, because it exists as a problem separate from the material it accommodates. To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.
Page 76 - Not the opium-eater, but the opium, is the true hero of the tale; and the legitimate centre on which the interest revolves. The object was to display the marvellous agency of opium, whether for pleasure or for pain: if that is done, the action of the piece has closed.
Page 140 - When a Proposition is delivered, and a second is subjoined to it, or drawn under it, equivalent or contrasted with it, in Sense; or similar to it in the form of Grammatical Construction; these I call Parallel Lines; and the words or phrases, answering to one another in the corresponding Lines, Parallel Terms.”
Page 46 - It is not impossible, that some congenial spirit, whose years do not exceed those of the author, at the time the poem was written, may find a pleasure in restoring the Lament to its original integrity by a reduction of the thoughts to the requisite metre
Page 72 - Jeremy Taylor conjectures that it may be as painful to be born as to die: I think it probable: and, during the whole period of diminishing the opium, I had the torments of a man passing out of one mode of existence into another.

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