The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham / Edition 1

The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham / Edition 1

by Helen Vendler
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674081218

ISBN-13: 9780674081215

Pub. Date: 12/06/1995

Publisher: Harvard

Style is the material body of lyric poetry, Helen Vendler suggests. To cast off an earlier style is to do an act of violence to the self. Why might a poet do this, adopting a sharply different form? In this exploration of three kinds of break in poetic style, Vendler clarifies the essential connection between style and substance in poetry. Opening fresh

…  See more details below

Overview

Style is the material body of lyric poetry, Helen Vendler suggests. To cast off an earlier style is to do an act of violence to the self. Why might a poet do this, adopting a sharply different form? In this exploration of three kinds of break in poetic style, Vendler clarifies the essential connection between style and substance in poetry. Opening fresh perspectives on the work of three very different poets, her masterful study of changes in style yields a new view of the interplay of moral, emotional, and intellectual forces in a poet's work.

Gerard Manley Hopkins' invention of sprung rhythm marks a dramatic break with his early style. Rhythm, Vendler shows us, is at the heart of Hopkins' aesthetic, and sprung rhythm is his symbol for danger, difference, and the shock of the beautiful. In Seamus Heaney's work, she identifies clear shifts in grammatical "atmosphere" from one poem to the next--from "nounness" to the "betweenness" of an adverbial style--shifts whose moral and political implications come under scrutiny here. And finally Vendler looks at Jorie Graham's departure from short lines to numbered lines to squared long lines of sentences, marking a move from deliberation to cinematic "freeze-framing" to coverage, each with its own meaning in this poet's career.

Throughout, Vendler reminds us that what distinguishes successful poetry is a mastery of language at all levels--including the rhythmic, the grammatical, and the graphic. A fine study of three poets and a superb exposition of the craft of poetry, The Breaking of Style revives our lapsed sense of what style means.

Join Professor Helen Vendler in her course lecture on the Yeats poem "Among School Children". View her insightful and passionate analysis along with a condensed reading and student comments on the course.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674081215
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
12/06/1995
Series:
Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature Series, #1
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
116
Sales rank:
1,343,753
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Gerard Manley Hopkins and Sprung Rhythm

Seamus Heaney: The Grammatical Moment

Jorie Graham: The Moment of Excess

Works Cited

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >