Poems in Their Place: Intertextuality and Order of Poetic Collections

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With essays by 13 leading scholars, this collection establishes the grounds for a new kind of poetics that considers the poetry book itself -- the concept and the material fact -- as an object of interpretation. The authors argue that the decisions poets make about the presentation of their works play a meaningful role in the poetic process and therefore should figure as part of the reading experience.The common practice of approaching poems chronologically, as they are presented in anthologies or in posthumous editions, has been fostered by the long prevailing tendency of the New Criticism to treat each poem as self-contained. This volume urges the reader to reconsider the most fundamental ways that one reads, teaches, and inteprets poetry.Moving from classical to contemporary poetry, these essays develop a literary history and theory for such a poetics, at the same time providing a generous set of models for a related practical criticism. At the heart of this collection are such issues as order, arrangement, and intertextuality. Reading poems in their place helps to return them to their historical contexts because the book itself has had a particular place in its own culture and society.