Charles Bernstein

Etudes anglaises: Flirting with form – Experimental poetry and contemporary audacity

issue #2, 2012

order from Klincksieck, Paris.

Penelope GALEY-SACKS : Introduction. A Field of New Voicings

"& you know it don't come easy . . .": alternate titles for L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (1977)

Bruce Andrews & I compiled this list (from the archives)


Poetics: further reading

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.