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Offers practical advice on how to write poety, and discusses line, rhythm, meter, and diction
Rhythm: A Theological Category argues that, as a pervasive dimension of human existence with theological implications, rhythm ought to be considered a category of theological significance. Philosophers and theologians have drawn on the category of rhythm—patterned movements of repetition and variation-to describe reality, however, the ways in which rhythm is used and understood differ based on a variety of metaphysical commitments with varying theological implications. Lexi Eikelboom brings those implications into the open through using resources from phenomenology, prosody, and the social sciences to analyse and evaluate uses of rhythm in metaphysical and theological accounts of reality. The analysis relies on a distinction from prosody between a synchronic approach to rhythm, which observes the whole at once and considers how various dimensions of a rhythm hold together harmoniously, and a diachronic approach, which focuses on the ways in which time unfolds as the subject experiences it. Based on an engagement with the twentieth-century Jesuit theologian Erich Przywara alongside thinkers as diverse as Augustine and the contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben, Eikelboom proposes an approach to rhythm that serves the concerns of theological conversation. It then demonstrates the difference that including rhythm in such theological conversation makes to how we think about questions such as "what is creation" and "what is the nature of the God-creature relationship?" from the perspective of rhythm. As a theoretical category, capable of expressing metaphysical commitments, yet shaped by the cultural rhythms in which those expressing such commitments are embedded, rhythm is particularly significant for theology as a phenomenon through which culture and embodied experience influence doctrine.
This book shows how rhythm constitutes an untapped resource for understanding poetry. Intervening in recent debates over formalism, historicism, and poetics, the authors show how rhythm is at once a defamiliarizing aesthetic force and an unstable concept. Distinct from the related terms to which it’s often assimilated—scansion, prosody, meter—rhythm makes legible a range of ways poetry affects us that cannot be parsed through the traditional resources of poetic theory. Rhythm has rich but also problematic roots in still-lingering nineteenth-century notions of primitive, oral, communal, and sometimes racialized poetics. But there are reasons to understand and even embrace its seductions, including its resistance to lyrical voice and even identity. Through exploration of rhythm’s genealogies and present critical debates, the essays consistently warn against taking rhythm to be a given form offering ready-made resources for interpretation. Pressing beyond poetry handbooks’ isolated descriptions of technique or inductive declarations of what rhythm “is,” the essays ask what it means to think rhythm. Rhythm, the contributors show, happens relative to the body, on the one hand, and to language, on the other—two categories that are distinct from the literary, the mode through which poetics has tended to be analyzed. Beyond articulating what rhythm does to poetry, the contributors undertake a genealogical and theoretical analysis of how rhythm as a human experience has come to be articulated through poetry and poetics. The resulting work helps us better understand poetry both on its own terms and in its continuities with other experiences and other arts. Contributors: Derek Attridge, Tom Cable, Jonathan Culler, Natalie Gerber, Ben Glaser, Virginia Jackson, Simon Jarvis, Ewan Jones, Erin Kappeler, Meredith Martin, David Nowell Smith, Yopie Prins, Haun Saussy
In the half-century between 1890 and 1950, a variety of fields and disciplines, from musicology and literary studies to biology, psychology, genetics, and eugenics, expressed a profound interest in the subject of rhythm. In this book, Michael Golston recovers much of the work done in this area and situates it in the society, politics, and culture of the Modernist period. He then filters selected Modernist poems through this archive to demonstrate that innovations in prosody, form, and subject matter are based on a largely forgotten ideology of rhythm and that beneath Modernist prosody is a science and an accompanying technology. In his analysis, Golston first examines psychological and physiological experiments that purportedly proved that races responded differently to rhythmic stimuli. He then demonstrates how poets like Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, Mina Loy, and William Carlos Williams either absorbed or echoed the information in these studies, using it to hone the innovative edge of Modernist practice and fundamentally alter the way poetry was written. Golston performs close readings of canonical texts such as Pound's Cantos, Yeats's "Lake Isle of Innisfree," and William Carlos Williams's Paterson, and examines the role the sciences of rhythm played in racist discourses and fascist political thinking in the years leading up to World War II. Recovering obscure texts written in France, Germany, England, and America, Golston argues that "Rhythmics" was instrumental in generating an international modern art and should become a major consideration in our reading of reactionary avant-garde poetry.
The definitive account of rap and hip hop as forms of American poetry "Bradley is a visionary critic, skillful and wise.... Book of Rhymes is a tour de force, brilliantly renovating hip hop criticism as [lit] rescues the forgotten vanguard of American poetry." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Rap may be the most revolutionary development in poetry over the past forty years, yet its originality is hidden in plain sight. Often overshadowed by the beat, bluster, and hype surrounding the music, lyrics are the heart of hip hop. Book of Rhymes explores America's least-understood poets by unpacking their complex craft and according them the respect they deserve as lyricists. Examining the language and techniques of hip hop's most memorable artists, literary scholar Adam Bradley argues that a new world of rhythm and rhyme awaits us if we put aside preconceptions and encounter rap with new ears and new eyes. Updated to reflect nearly a decade of the genre's evolution, Book of Rhymes remains the definitive work on the poetry of hip hop.
Many people in Great Britain and the United States can recall elderly relatives who remembered long stretches of verse learned at school decades earlier, yet most of us were never required to recite in class. Heart Beats is the first book to examine how poetry recitation came to assume a central place in past curricular programs, and to investigate when and why the once-mandatory exercise declined. Telling the story of a lost pedagogical practice and its wide-ranging effects on two sides of the Atlantic, Catherine Robson explores how recitation altered the ordinary people who committed poems to heart, and changed the worlds in which they lived. Heart Beats begins by investigating recitation's progress within British and American public educational systems over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and weighs the factors that influenced which poems were most frequently assigned. Robson then scrutinizes the recitational fortunes of three short works that were once classroom classics: Felicia Hemans's "Casabianca," Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," and Charles Wolfe's "Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna." To conclude, the book considers W. E. Henley's "Invictus" and Rudyard Kipling's "If--," asking why the idea of the memorized poem arouses such different responses in the United States and Great Britain today. Focusing on vital connections between poems, individuals, and their communities, Heart Beats is an important study of the history and power of memorized poetry.
Through a series of 34 essays by leading and emerging scholars, A Companion to Romantic Poetry reveals the rich diversity of Romantic poetry and shows why it continues to hold such a vital and indispensable place in the history of English literature. Breaking free from the boundaries of the traditionally-studied authors, the collection takes a revitalized approach to the field and brings together some of the most exciting work being done at the present time Emphasizes poetic form and technique rather than a biographical approach Features essays on production and distribution and the different schools and movements of Romantic Poetry Introduces contemporary contexts and perspectives, as well as the issues and debates that continue to drive scholarship in the field Presents the most comprehensive and compelling collection of essays on British Romantic poetry currently available

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