Poetry as Survival / Edition 1

Poetry as Survival / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Gregory Orr
     
 

ISBN-10: 0820324280

ISBN-13: 9780820324289

Pub. Date: 11/18/2002

Publisher: University of Georgia Press


Intended for general readers and for students and scholars of poetry, Poetry as Survival is a complex and lucid analysis of the powerful role poetry can play in confronting, surviving, and transcending pain and suffering.

Gregory Orr draws from a generous array of sources. He weaves discussions of work by Keats, Dickinson, and Whitman with quotes from

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Overview


Intended for general readers and for students and scholars of poetry, Poetry as Survival is a complex and lucid analysis of the powerful role poetry can play in confronting, surviving, and transcending pain and suffering.

Gregory Orr draws from a generous array of sources. He weaves discussions of work by Keats, Dickinson, and Whitman with quotes from three-thousand-year-old Egyptian poems, Inuit songs, and Japanese love poems to show that writing personal lyric has helped poets throughout history to process emotional and experiential turmoil, from individual stress to collective grief. More specifically, he considers how the acts of writing, reading, and listening to lyric bring ordering powers to the chaos that surrounds us. Moving into more contemporary work, Orr looks at the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Stanley Kunitz, and Theodore Roethke, poets who relied on their own work to get through painful psychological experiences.

As a poet who has experienced considerable trauma--especially as a child--Orr refers to the damaging experiences of his past and to the role poetry played in his ability to recover and survive. His personal narrative makes all the more poignant and vivid Orr's claims for lyric poetry's power as a tool for healing. Poetry as Survival is a memorable and inspiring introduction to lyric poetry's capacity to help us find safety and comfort in a threatening world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820324289
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
11/18/2002
Series:
The Life of Poetry: Poets on Their Art a
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
242
Sales rank:
523,654
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Everywhere and Always1
Pt. 1The Self, Jeopardy, and Song
1Poised on a Mountain Peak, Floating on the Ocean13
2The Dinner Party and the Sailor at War24
3The Embodied Self37
4The Edge as Threshold51
5Bags Full of Havoc59
6The Two Survivals83
7The Powers of Poetry93
Pt. 2Trauma and Transformation
8The Dangerous Angel117
9Convulsive Transformation of the Overculture133
10Wordsworth and the Permanent Forms141
11Keats and the Ardor of the Pursuer149
12Whitman and the Habit of Dazzle159
13Dickinson and the Brain's Haunted Corridors171
14Wilfred Owen and the Horrors of War182
15The Quest and the Dangerous Path189
16Constellations and Medicine Pouches204
App. ASacred and Secular Lyric209
App. BThe Social Lyric and the Personal Lyric213
App. CIncarnating Eros225
Index231

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Poetry As Survival 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Poetry as Survival, Gregory Orr explores three facets of the lyric poem: its story, its metaphors, and its incantatory devices. He demonstrates how these are used by poets and their readers to promote emotional balance or healing during and after destabilizing situations. In the second half of the book, Orr gives examples of ways in which these aspects of the lyric affected the life and work of 10 well-known English-language poets including Wordsworth, Keats, Dickinson, and Whitman. A well thought out thesis presented in a clear, engaging text, this is the second book I have read in a series from the U. of Georgia called The Life of Poetry: Poets on Their Art and Craft. The other, Poetry as Persuasion, by Carl Dennis, proposes that every poem has an actual or implied narrator who must be carefully developed if the reader is to accept the poem. Both books have been very useful to me in both my writing and my reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gregory Orr reports that it was a horrible trauma in his childhood that led to his becoming a professor of poetry. After he tried several traditional therapies unsuccessfully, he encountered a librarian who also taught poetry writing. After Gregory tried writing his first poem, he found its benefit to be immediate and gratifying. Since then, he apparently found that writing poems also helps other people often to reconcile themselves with their anxieties and difficulties, including traumas. "Poetry as Survival" describes how this may be done. Orr's concern is not with poetic formats or structures, but how poems can help us to cope intimately with Life. Our minds conjure order by conceiving stories, and this faculty is valuable when we are traumatized because whatever sense our minds can conjure is comforting. Mr. Orr suggests that simply naming our monsters is an incantation that mollifies some of its terrors. I inferred from Mr. Orr how I might see blessedness if I'm ever splattered by blood, or see three visiting angels in my tribulations, or a pool of creation in chaos. I hope to avoid trauma, but I am glad to have read "Poetry as Survival" before any can come. Until then, I am still grateful to Mr. Orr because his book is currently helping me better cope with my mundane troubles.