The Resistance to Poetry [NOOK Book]

Overview

Poems inspire our trust, argues James Longenbach in this bracing work, because they don't necessarily ask to be trusted. Theirs is the language of self-questioning—metaphors that turn against themselves, syntax that moves one way because it threatens to move another. Poems resist themselves more strenuously than they are resisted by the cultures receiving them.

But the resistance to poetry is quite specifically the wonder of poetry. ...
See more details below
The Resistance to Poetry

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$20.00 List Price

Overview

Poems inspire our trust, argues James Longenbach in this bracing work, because they don't necessarily ask to be trusted. Theirs is the language of self-questioning—metaphors that turn against themselves, syntax that moves one way because it threatens to move another. Poems resist themselves more strenuously than they are resisted by the cultures receiving them.

But the resistance to poetry is quite specifically the wonder of poetry. Considering a wide array of poets, from Virgil and Milton to Dickinson and Glück, Longenbach suggests that poems convey knowledge only inasmuch as they refuse to be vehicles for the efficient transmission of knowledge. In fact, this self-resistance is the source of the reader's pleasure: we read poetry not to escape difficulty but to embrace it.

An astute writer and critic of poems, Longenbach makes his case through a sustained engagement with the language of poetry. Each chapter brings a fresh perspective to a crucial aspect of poetry (line, syntax, figurative language, voice, disjunction) and shows that the power of poetry depends less on meaning than on the way in which it means—on the temporal process we negotiate in the act of reading or writing a poem. Readers and writers who embrace that process, Longenbach asserts, inevitably recoil from the exaggeration of the cultural power of poetry in full awareness that to inflate a poem's claim on our attention is to weaken it.

A graceful and skilled study, The Resistance to Poetry honors poetry by allowing it to be what it is. This book arrives at a critical moment—at a time when many people are trying to mold and market poetry into something it is not.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It is axiomatic that poetry resists our attempts to make sense of it. Here, Longenbach argues that the language of poetry resists itself even more than its readers and by doing so conquers our resistance to its obscurity. He argues further that the accessibility of much contemporary poetry has replaced "inwardness"-the thing that makes it poetry. Both a poet himself (e.g., Fleet River) and the author of major studies on poetry (e.g., Modern Poetry After Modernism), Longenbach offers an argument that runs counter to Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks's Understanding Poetry (1950). We read poetry not to understand, he counters, but "to experience the sensation, the sound, of words leaping just beyond our capacity to know them certainly." Discovering in a poem something strange in what we thought familiar, we draw fresh wonder at the alien beauty of our own becoming in the world. Longenbach's spare method is that of the poet, his careful exposition like that of a poem. Both academic and public libraries should make room for this beautiful little book.-Vince Brewton, Univ. of North Alabama Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The Nation - John Palattella
"[An] intelligent, elegant and valuable defense of poetry."
Choice
Named "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice
Poetry - Brian Phillips
"Throughout nine small and expertly constellated essays, Longenbach demonstrates that poems are a form of thinking: a resistance to the clear-cut, uncomplicated thought that tries to pin them down as statements....A compact and exponentially provocative book."
Redactions
"This is a book of poetics, & a brilliant book of poetics it is. . . . There is not a dull, unintelligent, unimaginative point in this book. You will learn from Longenbach. This book will make you love poetry more."
South Atlantic Review - David Garrison
"Longenbach's ear for the artistic workings of many, many poems is instructive. He is especially good at displaying Stephens and Bishop. His ability to teach us about the choices writers make--and why they make them--is also instructive. Page by page, Resistance to Poetry teaches us to be better readers."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226492513
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 569,134
  • File size: 172 KB

Meet the Author

James Longenbach is the Joseph Henry Gilmore Professor of English at the University of Rochester and the author of four distinguished critical studies of modern literature, most recently Modern Poetry after Modernism. His two books of poems, Threshold and Fleet River, are published by the University of Chicago Press.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
I. The Resistance to Poetry
II. The End of the Line
III. Forms of Disjunction
IV. Song and Story
V. Untidy Activity
VI. The Spokenness of Poetry
VII. The Other Hand
VIII. Leaving Things Out
IX. Composed Wonder
Bibliography
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)