Poetry

Poetry : The Literary Agenda

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Description

The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival
claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication
looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading.

In this fascinating addition to the Literary Agenda series, David Constantine argues that poetry matters. It matters for individuals and for the society they are members of. He asserts that poetry is not for the few but for the many, and belongs and can only thrive among them, speaks of and to their concerns. Poetry considers both the writing and the reading of poetry, which Constantine views as kindred activities. He examines what goes into the writing of a poem and considers what
good there is in reading it. Constantine also considers translation, arguing that great benefit comes to the native language from dealings with the foreign; also, that all reading is a form of translation - of texts into the lives we lead. Altogether, Poetry is an attempt, with many quotations, to show how
poetry works, what its responsibilities are, and how it may help us in our real circumstances now.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 158 pages
  • 139 x 195 x 13mm | 178g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199698473
  • 9780199698479
  • 572,343

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The writing and reading of poetry ; 2. Translation ; 3. The good of it ; 4. The office of poetry ; 5. The common good ; Further reading
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Review quote

David Constantine's Poetry is a heartfelt argument that poems can rescue us into humane living through letting what William Blake termed "minute particulars" resonate with greater significance. * Lytton Smith, The Times Literary Supplement *
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About David Constantine

David Constantine is a poet, novelist, and short-story writer who taught German language and literature at Durham and then Queen's College, Oxford. His most recent poetry collection is Nine Fathoms Deep (2009), and his most recent volulme of short stories, The Shieling (2009). He has translated Hoelderlin, Goethe, Kleist, and Brecht: Goethe's Faust, Part 1 and Part 2 for Penguin and Elective Affinities for Oxford World's Classics. In 2010 he won
the BBC National Short Story Award. With his wife Helen he edits Modern Poetry in Translation.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
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4 27% (3)
3 27% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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