Commentaries - August 2012
“Stoop, villain, stoop, stoop” (Tamburlaine, Part 1, 4.2.22-23). Marlowe liked the sound of the vowel in “stoop” so much that he wanted to hear Tamburlaine say it three times. Then he wanted to hear it again in Faustus: “Saxon Bruno, stoop” (Doctor Faustus, B-Text, 3.1.89). But this was not enough! Adrian says the word another time — a fifth repetition — just seventy lines later: “Then thou and he and all the world shall stoop” (3.1.158).
Maybe it was the final “p,” the only sound that “stoop” doesn’t share with “stool,” that Marlowe really wanted to hear. In any case, the frequent returns of the simple command to stoop suggest a frustration of someone’s desire. No matter how many times you indulge this desire, it’s still not enough. Maybe the command simply isn’t working except as a sound effect. (You might say that Tamburlaine has to give the command a third time because Bajazeth hasn’t carried it out after the second.)
The fact that Tamburlaine is talking at all is somewhat gratuitous. The entire exchange could be replaced by a short stage direction: “Bajazeth kneels before the throne. Tamburlaine steps on his back and climbs into the seat.” The scene doesn't go like that. Instead, they command, reply, curse, and wrangle, for thirty-two lines. Marlowe wanted to hear all of the words. The king and the footstool have to be talking the entire time.
Tamburlaine’s counselors observe the inefficiency of the play’s language and try to correct it. “You must devise some torment worse, my lord,” Techelles offers, “to make these captives rein their lavish tongues” (Tamburlaine, Part 1, 4.2.66-67). Techelles has a point. The efficient political solution would be the destruction of Tamburlaine’s enemies. Recall Bajazeth’s preferred solution: “First thou shalt rip my bowels with thy sword . . .” (4.1.16). He will be a footstool only when Tamburlaine has him killed and fabricates a useful object from his skeleton.
This is not a solution about which Tamburlaine ordinarily has any scruples. In Part 1, Marlowe dramatizes this solution in Tamburlaine’s unflinching destruction of the city of Damascus, starting with the slaughter of four virgins (“O, pity us!” “Away with them, I say, and show them Death!” [5.1.119-20]); in Part 2, in Tamburlaine’s murder of his son Calyphas.
That would be one way of handling the problem of Bajazeth. A less efficient but equally effective solution would be to use brute strength to enforce Bajazeth’s unfree status. Punish his body. Take away his voice. Teach him the consequences of disobedience. Curiously, Tamburlaine is far less disciplined in handling his enemy emperor than in handling enemy towns. For although he threatens to have Bajazeth torn to pieces, which he fancifully compares to shavings from a cedar tree struck by a thunderbolt, the threat is empty. He has no intention of doing any such thing. Why does he make so many allowances for the eccentricities of his furniture? “My lord,” Queen Zenocrate wonders, “how can you suffer these outrageous curses by these slaves of yours?” (Part 1, 4.4.26-27).
Tamburlaine’s answer is instructive. “I glory in the curses of my foes” (4.4.29). He wants the footstool to be a living, conscious, willful man. He wants him to have a voice. He wants to hear his curses. He wants to step on his back — an emperor’s back — while he resists. The political point of the command was never to conquer the object’s resistance. The point is for the object and the speaker to hear the command and the curse over and over.
The political point has a dramaturgical explanation. Marlowe’s theater typically uses sonorous diction and extravagant imagery to create action and spectacle. All of Marlowe’s readers must confront this tendency eventually. As Harry Levin succinctly puts it, “Driven by an impetus towards infinity and faced with the limitations of the stage, the basic convention of Marlovian drama is to take the word for the deed” (Christopher Marlowe: The Overreacher [Faber, 1965], 62). Important elements of drama are narrated, but not quite in the manner of Greek chorus or Shakespearean soliloquy. A peculiar sort of dialogue sets lyric utterances against one another.
Think of the psychomachia in Faustus.
— O Faustus, lay that damnèd book aside.
— Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art.
— Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess.
These commands are spoken by the Good Angel, the Bad Angel, and Faustus, each one a different aspect of the same character. Three actors appear onstage to represent a single voice talking to itself, translating action into lyric utterance, and fragmenting lyric into dialogue.
The scene in Vatican City is more complicated, because there are three distinct characters, two of whom believe themselves to be the one and only pope. The dramaturgy, however, is the same. Adrian declares his papal state by loading his entrance with commands — first directed to his retainer, then to his furniture, and finally to himself. When Tamburlaine ascends the throne, he and Bajazeth trade impossible commands: Bajazeth tells the “dread god of hell” to make the earth swallow both kings, and Tamburlaine calls on some of the stars to outshine other stars (4.2.27, 33-34). Psychologically, the effect may be compared to that of whistling a sprightly tune on a walk through an unfamiliar neighborhood. You are announcing your presence and your nonchalance to the residents, and convincing yourself that you exist. Here I am. Listen to my soundtrack. Come inside my head where that tune is always playing.
According to the enigmatic pronouncements of Allen Grossman’s Summa Lyrica, lyricism is an ideal special effect for showing majesty.
In the lyric ‘space of appearance,’ all being is celebratory. . . . The speaker in lyric has mastered the process of manifestation, and endured the tragic losses which manifestation entails, without being destroyed. The speaker in lyric has not lost heart. To go on speaking, not to lose heart, is an occasion of celebration and an attribute of majesty.
(Grossman, Summa Lyrica 21, “Scholium on didacticism”)
In the story that Grossman tells, all people were originally invisible. Early civilizations developed poetry as a technique for making special people, kings, visible. As a result, almost anything that appears in a poem looks more or less like a king. For modern poets with democratic ambitions, the tendency of poetic language to multiply images of kings might sound like a problem. For Marlowe, it sounds like the solution to a problem.
At least, Levin makes it sound like a solution. According to Levin, Marlowe uses poetic language as a compensatory mechanism reconciling “an impetus towards infinity” with “the limitations of the stage.” This formula echoes Barabas’s entrance in The Jew of Malta, which takes the form of an impossible command addressed to his wealth: “Give me,” he says, carriers of wealth with greater value than gold pieces, so as to “enclose/ Infinite riches in a little room” (1.1.19, 36-37), and obviate scenic representation. Elsewhere Levin expresses his appreciation for this line, remarking that “nothing could be more Marlovian. . . . It is hard to imagine how a larger amount of implication could be more compactly ordered within a single pentameter” (The Overreacher, 87).
To Tamburlaine’s political advisors, poetry seems to be a needless expenditure; to a literary critic (putting aside the rarity of Marlowe’s genius, even in the cultural flowering of the Elizabethan period), it seems a thrifty allocation of resources. On a practically bare stage, using only human voices, Marlowe shows infinite wealth and absolute power. Very economical.
Jonathan Goldberg has a different interpretation of this tendency. In a reading of Edward II, Goldberg highlights a speech by Gaveston that “defines in advance precisely the kind of theatricalization Edward II will not offer” (Sodometries [Stanford, 1992], 115). Gaveston imagines seducing Edward by producing entertainments in which boys wear women’s clothing, playing on the fears of Puritan antitheatrical writers, and anticipating the hopes of some modern readers, for the effects of this Elizabethan stage convention. However, Goldberg points out, Gaveston seduces Edward using his own body and voice, without transvestite performers, and in fact without professional entertainers of any kind. Gaveston does not need to wear a dress in order to become sexually interesting to Edward.
What if this interpretation — lyricism undone by performance — were the model for Marlowe’s dramaturgy? Rather than constituting action, the speeches would be fictions even within the fiction of the play, providing a view into a world distinct from the scene in which they are spoken. This is how the impossible commands seem to work in one of Marlowe’s most celebrated set-pieces, Faustus’s descent into hell. As the time of his spiritual contract runs out, Faustus calls on all the stars to stand still, for the sun to “make/ Perpetual day,” and for his body to be sublimated into a cloud. As though Faustus’s wishes to slow time have the effect of making it run faster, an hour passes before he has finished reciting a speech of fewer than sixty lines (with more of the lines spoken before the clock strikes the half-hour than after).
Because Faustus’s desires are impossible and because they keep changing, Stephen Greenblatt concludes that they are ultimately objectless: “Faustus speaks endlessly of his appetite, his desire to be glutted, ravished, consumed, but what is it exactly that he wants?” (Renaissance Self-Fashioning [Chicago, 1980], 217). It’s true that Faustus is rarely satisfied with what he gets, but Greenblatt’s question only makes sense if Faustus is allowed to want exactly one thing. I assume that Faustus wants everything that he says he wants — in other words, he wants to see the stars stand still, and he wants to experience being a cloud — and is not obligated to seek a common principle unifying his desires. The objects Faustus wants are easy to grasp, starting with this one:
I’ll have them fill the public schools with silk,
Wherewith the students shall be bravely clad.
I work in a school myself, and can testify that it would be cool to have the entire campus wrapped in layers of silk like a Christo and Jeanne-Claude project. I would also appreciate new kimonos for the students and faculty to wear as uniforms. Is it really necessary to explain these desires?
Everyone onstage looks like a king, even the furniture, because everyone onstage, including the furniture, is voicing wildly unreasonable commands. The shape of the political hierarchy finally depends on dramaturgy. (Which of the incompatible verbal cues do you follow? One can imagine stagings of Faustus in which Adrian defiantly asserts his ascension from beneath the foot of the Elector of Saxony, or stagings of Tamburlaine in which which Bajazeth makes Tamburlaine his eunuch, or in which the mouth of hell swallows both of them.) The problem lies not in determining what the characters want, since their desires are spoken in “high astounding terms” (Tamburlaine, Part 1, prologue), but in conforming them to what others want, since they tend to view one another as objects of desire, instruments that will help them get what they want, or obstacles. Only in Hero and Leander does Marlowe suggest “mutual appetence” even as a possibility (2.56).
Next: the character of a small poet.
[Thanks to David Scher for the images.]
issue #2, 2012
order from Klincksieck, Paris.
Penelope GALEY-SACKS : Introduction. A Field of New Voicings
Charles BERNSTEIN and Penelope GALEY-SACKS: Poetry's club-foot: process, faktura, intensification (an interview)
Marie-Dominique GARNIER: Madeline Gins’s Ors Poetica Or Reading "Critical Beach" (Helen Keller Or Arakawa, 1994)
Hélène AJI: Un(decidable), Un(creative), Un(precedented), Un(readable), Un(nerving): Christian Bök, Craig Dworkin, Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place
Penelope GALEY-SACKS: Songlines and Entropy in Ron Silliman’s Ketjak
John SEARS: The Horizon of the Poem: On Matthew Cooperman and Ecopoetics
Axel NESME: Etant Donné(e) Rachel Blau DuPlessis: Intertextuality and Intermediality in Drafts 1-38, Toll
Geneviève COHEN-CHEMINET : La matérialisation de la marge dans la poésie américaine contemporaine
Dominique DELMAIRE: The love poetry of George Mackay Brown, or “The Escape of the H(e)art”
Penelope GALEY-SACKS: (Charles Bernstein on) Language and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E
Marie-Dominique GARNIER - Madeline Gins's Ors Poetica Or Reading "Critical Beach" (Helen Keller Or Arakawa, 1994)
Except for an isolated attempt at translating one of Arakawa and Gins’s early essays, To Not To Die (Pour ne pas mourir), the poetry of Madeline Gins has not, so far, been translated into French—although her first volume Word Rain was published to great acclaim in 1969. Gins’s 1994 Helen Keller Or Arakawa belongs to no known genre. Part-“novel” part-aesthetic philosophy and survival manual, it belongs to the genre-to-be of many-body biography, one in which bodies and their surroundings are treated as part of a common bioscleaving project. While “ecosophy” or “ecopoetry” might come to mind as ways of describing the sort of “atmospheric” connectivity Gins and Arakawa are seeking, both terms miss the radical novelty of their biopoetics. At work in Gins and Arakawa is a critique both of the “I” and of the “environment,” each being remodeled into a “sky-of-an-I” and a “surround” or an “atmosphere.” In the last “chapter” (or plateau) of Helen Keller Or Arakawa, a beach gone “critical” speaks a post-human, minor poetic tongue of its own. This essay addresses the “ecopoetics” of critical beach parlance—a beach devoid of any phenomenological horizon. Differential, repetitive, each throw of Gins’s poetic dice looks or gropes ahead in the direction of an exopoetics: a turning inside-out of the “innards” of language.
Mise à part la tentative isolée de traduire To Not To Die, un des premiers essais co-écrits par Arakawa et Gins, la poésie de Madeline Gins n’est pas, à ce jour, traduite en français — et cela malgré le fait que son premier recueil, Word Rain, ait été acclamé à sa publication. Le volume in-titulé Helen Keller or Arakawa ne ressortit quant à lui à aucun genre répertorié. Mi-« roman », mi-traité de philosophie esthétique et manuel de survie, cet « essai » poétique relève d’un genre inconnu, celui de la biographie à n-corps — biographie dont les corps et ce qui les entoure; relè-vent du même projet de « bioaderrance ». Si des mots-clefs tels que « écosophie » ou « écopoé-sie » peuvent a priori sembler en adéquation avec la connectivité de type « atmosphérique » que cherchent à construire Arakawa et Gins, ces termes restent l’un et l’autre en deçà de leur biopoé-tique d’un genre radicalement nouveau. Une double critique opère chez Gins et Arakawa : celle du sujet, et celle de l’environnement, l’un et l’autre revus et corrigés en « aire-de-je » et en « pa-rages » ou « atmosphère ». Le dernier chapitre (ou plateau) de Helen Keller Or Arakawa donne la parole à une plage devenue « critique », plage post-humaine possédant sa propre langue poé-tique mineure. Il s’agit dans le présent essai d’établir le profil « écopoétique » de cette plage par-lante — et dépourvue du moindre horizon phénoménologique. À chacun des lancers de ses dés poétiques, répétitifs et différentiels, l’écriture de Madeline Gins en appelle à un deve-nir-exopoétique — à une mise au grand dehors du dedans du langage.
Hélène AJI - Un(decidable), Un(creative), Un(precedented), Un(readable), Un(nerving): Christian Bök, Craig Dworkin, Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place
Penelope GALEY-SACKS - Songlines and Entropy in Ron Silliman’s Ketjak
Axel NESME - Étant Donné(e) Rachel Blau DuPlessis: Intertextuality and Intermediality in Drafts 1-38, Toll
from Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures
ed. David Nicholls, published by the MLA
3d edition, 2007
This is the "Further Reading" supplement to my "Poetics" essay in the volume. The main part of my contribution is collected in Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions as "Professing Poetics.
I wrote this in 2006 and have not updated or revised it. The history and bibliography are highly condensed due to the space restrictions of the printed volume; so what I was able offer was no more than a brief sketch of possibilities and directions, with much elided.
For the long history of Western poetics any short list is bound to be reductive and misleading; still, anthologies such as Hazard Adams’s Critical Theory Since Plato offer a good start, though, for poetics, it would be better to begin not with Plato but with Heraklitus, who already offers a response to Plato’s banishment of poetics from the ideal republic. Even the quickest tour of the Western canon of poetics would include stops for Longinus and Lucretius, apologies for poetry by Philip Sydney and Percy Shelley, William Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell” and Algernon Charles Swinburne’s William Blake, William Wordsworth’s “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads” and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, alongside Lautréamont’s Les chants de Maldoror and that still-burning torch, Oscar Wilde’s The Decay of Lying. On the American side, Edgar Allen Poe’s Philosophy of Literary Composition and Emily Dickinson’s letters[i] complement Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
The long twentieth century, begins, for poetics, in France, with Stephane Mallarmé’s “Crisis in Verse” and “The Book: A Spiritual Instrument,” but at the same time, for the Americas, in Cuba, with Jose Marti’s “Our America.” This is not the place to map out the vibrant field of European or Latin American, much less a global poetics, apart from noting the extraordinary significance for American poetics of works by Paul Valéry, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, Danielle Collbert, and Edmond Jabés in France; Paul Celan, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Walter Benjamin, in whatever country of the mind we want to claim for them; Velimir Khlebnikov in Russia; Basil Bunting, Hugh MacDiarmid, Veronica Forrest-Thomson, and Allen Fisher in Great Britain; Nicholas Guillén and José Lezama Lima in Cuba; Haroldo de Campos in Brazil; Alejandra Pizarnik and Oliverio Girondo in Argentina; César Vallejo in Perú; Aimé Césaire, Eduard Glissant, and Kamau Brathwaite in the Caribbean; and Leopold Senghor in Senegal.[ii]
Considering just North America, and the United States in particular, fundamental contributions to poetics were made by a number of modernists, including Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Gertrude Stein, whose “Composition as Explanation” is a foundational work of modernist poetics. Somewhat later, consider also Laura (Riding) Jackson’s Anarchism Is Not Enough and The Telling; Louis Zukofksy’s Prepositions, and the essays of Langston Hughes and Mina Loy. The context for this work is provided by two very useful collections, not of poetics, but of artists’ writings and manifestos, Art in Theory, edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood, and Manifesto: A Century of Isms, edited by Mary Ann Caws. Melissa Kwasny’s new anthology Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry, 1800-1950 also provides many key texts.
During the years following the second world war, there was a great outpouring of poetics by American poets, including Charles Olson’s “Projective Verse” and “Proprioception,” Frank O’Hara’s “Personism: A Manifesto,” Adrienne Rich’s On Lies, Secrets, and Silence, and Robert Creeley’s A Quick Graph. Much of the spirit of the time is captured in The Poetics of the New American Poetry, edited by Don Allen and Warren Tallman, which should be read alongside full collections of essays by Olson, Rich, and Creeley, Jack Spicer, Larry Eigner, Barbara Guest, Robert Duncan, Allen Ginsberg, Robin Blaser, and Jerome Rothenberg. Meanwhile, David Antin invented a new form of talking poetics – a mixed genre involving improvisation, philosophy, and autobiography, that he both performs live and subsequently transforms into work that extends the possibilities of both the essay and the poem.
The proliferation of politically engaged, socially informed, and aesthetically radical poetics in the period from 1975 to the present is charted by several anthologies, edited by Christopher Beach, Mark Wallace and Stephen Marks, Claudia Rankine and Juliana Spahr, and Peter Baker, in addition to Bruce Andrews and my The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book. Collections edited by James McCorkle, Molly McQuade, and Donald Hall provide other overviews of the poetics of the period, while Susan Bee and Mira Schor offer a highly relevant collection of writings by visual artists.
This period since 1975 has been marked by a profound shift from the dominance of male writers of poetics; by the turn of the twenty-first century, poetics was no longer a boy’s club. A feminist approach to poetics is charted not only by Adrienne Rich, but also by Kathleen Fraser, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Nicole Brossard. The provocative and transformative poetics of Amiri Baraka have yet to be collected in a book, but both Nathaniel Mackey and Lorenzo Thomas have published groundbreaking collections of essays on African-American poetics and Erica Hunt’s “"Notes for an Oppositional Poetics" in The Politics of Poetic Form offers a crucial intervention into the dialog. The connection between politics and form is at the heart of Bruce Andews’s formally uncompromising essays, just as it informs Ron Silliman’s The New Sentence. Hank Lazer undertakes the task of negotiating between the many audiences, and ideologies for poetry, while Leslie Scalapino pushes to eras the difference between her poetry and poetics, while articulating a distinct need for each. Probably the most philosophical and theoretically sophisticated approach to poetics is represented by Steve McCaffery’s two, often mind-bogglingly comic, essay collection. Christian Bök picks up on McCaffery’s “pataphysics” (Alfred Jarry’s science of imaginary answers to imaginary questions), with a tour-de-force work of poetics written with a number of severe constraints, including using the same number of words and sentences in each chapter; while Joan Retallack, taking up themes of John Cage, has made an eloquent case for “poethics.” Related to poethics is ecopoetics – the way in which poetry reflects and refracts the environment which is its habitat, the focus of essays by Jed Rasula and the magazine, Ecopoetics, edited by Jonathan Skinner. Pierre Joris orients his poetics to wandering, to the nomad inside our poetic selves; Nick Piombiono’s poetics are both psychoanalytic and aphoristic; and Alan Davies is enigmatic in the pursuit of nothing less than the imaginary of everyday life. In his essays, Bob Perelman has interrogated many of the assumption governing the poetics of the period, while Ben Friedlander has invented a new mode of doing poetics by transforming essays by Poe and others into contemporary commentaries. Johanna Drucker has explored, with wit and philosophical rigor, the visual dimensions of poetry and the book. Susan Stewart’s study Poetry and the Fate of the Senses is an impassioned plea for the value of poetry in the fullness of its sentiences. Lyn Hejinian is perhaps best known for her essay against closure, but her poetics provides wide-ranging accounts of the relation of poetry to consciousness, narrative, travel, and, knowledge. Meanwhile, Susan Howe has undertaken the monumental work of undermining monumental histories, speaking of and for the cracks between victories in a style that merges historical scholarship and song.
Over the past ten years, the Internet has become as homing ground both for poetry and poetics. The best gateway to innovative poetry and poetics on the web is the Electronic Poetry Center (epc.buffalo.edu), while the gateway for sound recordings of poets on the web is PennSound (writing.upenn.edu/pennsound). To experience poetics in the making, there is no better place to start than Ron Silliman’s blog, which is updated daily; while Joel Kuszai’s collection Poetics@ is a carefully shaped selection from a web poetics forum, that keeps the dialog at the center of the action. The importance of the web for poetry and poetics is explored in Jerome McGann’s Radiant Textuality and Loss Pequeño Glazier’s Digital Poetics.
Recent critical accounts of twentieth century poetics worth noting here include those by Peter Quartermain, Michael Davidson, Charles Altieri, Maria Damon, Craig Dworken, Charles Altieri, Gerald Bruns, Susan Vanderborg, Hank Lazer, Christopher Beach, Barrett Watten, Juliana Spahr, Michael Magee, Stephen Fredman, Aldon Nielsen, James Longenbach, and, above all, Marjorie Perloff, whose many illuminating books have championed poets and poetics.
[i] Dickinson’s textual fragments are sometimes typed as letters, but Marta Werner, in her two editions, casts Dickinson as the progenitor of contemporary poetics. Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson is the key text for reading Dickinson within the context of poetics.
[ii] For further information on international poetics, see a special issue of boundary 2 that I edited, entitled 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium. Ernesto Grosman was instrumental in my suggestions here regarding Latin American poetics.
Works Cited (for entire essay, including the concluding section reprinted here:
Adams, Hazard, ed. Critical Theory Since Plato, Rev. Edn. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch.1992
Allen, Donald and Warren Tallman. Poetics of the New American Poetry. New York: Grove P, 1973.
Altieri, Charles. Postmodernisms Now: Essays on Contemporaneity in the Arts. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP. 1998.
Andrews, Bruce. Paradise & Method: Poetics & Praxis. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1996
Andrews, Bruce and Charles Bernstein, eds. The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1984.
Antin, David. A Conversation with Charles Bernstein. New York: Granary Books, 2002.
________. What It Means to Be Avant-Garde. New York: New Directions. 1993.
Baker, Peter, ed. Contemporary Poetry & Poetics. New York: Peter Lang, 1996
Beach, Christopher. Poetic Culture: Contemporary American Poetry Between Community and Institution. Evanston: Northwestern UP. 1999
Beach, Christopher, ed. Artifice & Indeterminacy: An Anthology of New Poetics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1998.
Bee, Susan and Mira Schor, eds. M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism. Durham, N.C.: Duke UP, 2000.
Bernstein, Charles, ed., Close Listening; Poetry and the Performed Word. New York: Oxford UP. 1998.
__________, ed. 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium. boundary 2 26:1 (1999).
__________, ed., The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy. New York: Roof, 1990.
Bök, Christian. 'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2002.
Brossard, Nicole. Tr. Barbara Goddard. New York: Roof Books. 1990.
Bruns, Gerald. The Material of Poetry: Sketches for a Philosophical Poetics. Athens: U of Georgia Press. 2005.
Burke, Kenneth. “Literature as Equipment for Living.” The Philosophy of Literary Form. Berkeley: U of California P, 1973.
________. A Rhetoric of Motives. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1950.
C. Wright Mills, "Mass Society and Liberal Education.” Power, Politics and People. New York: Oxford UP, 1963. p. 368.
Cavell, Stanley. Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome: The Constitution of Emersonian Perfectionism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990.
___________. Senses of Walden. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 1992.
____________. This New Yet Unapproachable America: Essays after Emerson after Wittgenstein. Albuquerque: Living Batch Books. 1988.
Caws, Mary Ann, ed. Manifesto: A Century of Isms. Lincoln, U of Nebraska P, 2001.
Creeley, Robert. Collected Essays. Berkeley: U of California P, 1989.
Damon, Maria. The Dark End of the Street:Margins in American Vanguard Poetry. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P. 1993.
Davidson, Michael. Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word. Berkeley: U of California P. 1997.__________. Guys Like Us: Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics. Berkeley: U of California P. 2003.
Davis, Alan. Signage. New York: Roof Books. 1987.
Dickinson, Emily, ed. Marta L. Werner. Radical Scatters: Emily Dickinson's Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886. Electronic edn. U Michigan P. 2000
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Drucker, Johanna. Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing, and Visual Poetics. New York: Granary Books. 1998.
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Forrest-Thomson, Veronica. Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry. Manchester [Eng.]: Manchester University P, 1978.
Fraser, Kathleen. Translating the Unspeakable: Poetry and the Innovative Necessity: Essays. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama, 2000.
Fredman, Stephen. The Grounding of American Poetry: Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition. New York: Cambridge UP, 1993.
Friedlander, Ben. Simulcast: Four Experiments in Criticism. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2004.
Ginsberg, Allen, Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995. New York: HarperCollins. 2000.
Glazier, Loss. Digital Poetics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2001.
Guest, Barbara. Forces of Imagination: Writings on Writings. Berkeley: Kelsey Street, 2003.
Hall, Donald, ed. Claims for Poetry. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P. 1983.
________. Donald Hall, Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird: Interviews, Essays, and Notes on Poetry, 1970-76. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P. 1978.
Harrison, Charles and Paul Wood. Art in Theory, 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Maiden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2003.
Hejinian, Lyn. The Language of Inquiry. U of California P. 2000.
Howe, Susan. The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP. 1993.
________. My Emily Dickinson. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. 1988.
________. Peirce-Arrow. New York: New Directions. 1999.
Hurlbert, Mark, et al. Beyond English, Inc. Portsmith, NH: Boynton/Cook Heinemann, 2002.
Joris, Pierre. A Nomad Poetics. Middletown, CT.: Wesleyan University P, 2003.
Kwasny, Melissa, ed. Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry, 1800-1950. Middletown. CT.: Wesleyan University P, 2004.
Kuszai, Joel, ed. Poetics@. New York: Roof Books, 1999.
Lakoff, George. Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservative Think. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2002.
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