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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Robert Sheppard: The Poetry of Saying: British Poetry and its Discontents 1950-2000; its contents and theory and earlier posts

In The Poetry of Saying (2005), to which I refer across this blog, and also in my new work-in-critical-progress, The Meaning of Form, (particularly in the footnotes I comment on here; but access the whole project here) I argue that Linguistically Innovative Poetry (and that of the British Poetry Revival before it) may be best seen as regards to a tripartite theory, involving three levels: the technical, the social and political, and the ethical. (It is interesting I didn’t say The Formal, though the second is subtitled ‘The Poetics of Form’ .) I shall post on each of these levels separately.
The technical level concerns techniques of indeterminacy and discontinuity, of collage and creative linkage, of poetic artifice and defamiliarization.(Read about this level here.)
The social and political level concerns itself with a reading of the necessary dialogic nature of all utterance, including the kinds of poetry offered here. This will build on the technical devices described, ones which animate the reading process into necessary dialogue. (And this level is dealt with here.)
The ethical level of analysis extends from the first two levels into an understanding of the varieties of openness to the other implied by the techniques and social orientation of the work. (This level may be found described, and the thesis completed, here.)

See here for contents and original availability. The book is out of print (literally no longer in print) but may be obtained second hand, via Amazon and its associated book-sellers, and electronically from Liverpool University Press, which is the book's future, of course. Start here:

Bits of it are displayed by Google Books (though I'm not sure what I feel about that) and there are some sites offering free downloads of it, but I'm not going to direct you to them.

Amazon link: You can definitely buy it secondhand via Amazon's associated booksellers.

Some earlier Pages posts, on the British Poetry Revival and Linguistically Innovative Poetry, were associated with the historical chapters of the book. These are:

On the British Poetry Revival:

Here’s a later post on the British Poetry Revival:

Here are the posts on Linguistically Innovative Poetry: