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What is the role of the senses in the creation and reception of poetry? How does poetry carry on the long tradition of making experience and suffering understood by others? With Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart traces the path of the aesthetic in search of an explanation for the role of poetry in our culture. The task of poetry, she tells us, is to counter What is the role of the senses in the creation and reception of poetry? How does poetry carry on the long tradition of making experience and suffering understood by others? With Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart traces the path of the aesthetic in search of an explanation for the role of poetry in our culture. The task of poetry, she tells us, is to counter the loneliness of the mind, or to help it glean, out of the darkness of solitude, the outline of others. Poetry, she contends, makes tangible, visible, and audible the contours of our shared humanity. It sustains and transforms the threshold between individual and social existence. Herself an acclaimed poet, Stewart not only brings the intelligence of a critic to the question of poetry, but the insight of a practitioner as well. Her new study draws on reading from the ancient Greeks to the postmoderns to explain how poetry creates meanings between persons. Poetry and the Fate of the Senses includes close discussions of poems by Stevens, Hopkins, Keats, Hardy, Bishop, and Traherne, of the sense of vertigo in Baroque and Romantic works, and of the rich tradition of nocturnes in visual, musical, and verbal art. Ultimately, Stewart explores the pivotal role of poetry in contemporary culture. She argues that poetry can counter the denigration of the senses and can expand our imagination of the range of human expression. Poetry and the Fate of the Senses won the 2004 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, administered for the Truman Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. It also won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2002 Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism.


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What is the role of the senses in the creation and reception of poetry? How does poetry carry on the long tradition of making experience and suffering understood by others? With Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart traces the path of the aesthetic in search of an explanation for the role of poetry in our culture. The task of poetry, she tells us, is to counter What is the role of the senses in the creation and reception of poetry? How does poetry carry on the long tradition of making experience and suffering understood by others? With Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart traces the path of the aesthetic in search of an explanation for the role of poetry in our culture. The task of poetry, she tells us, is to counter the loneliness of the mind, or to help it glean, out of the darkness of solitude, the outline of others. Poetry, she contends, makes tangible, visible, and audible the contours of our shared humanity. It sustains and transforms the threshold between individual and social existence. Herself an acclaimed poet, Stewart not only brings the intelligence of a critic to the question of poetry, but the insight of a practitioner as well. Her new study draws on reading from the ancient Greeks to the postmoderns to explain how poetry creates meanings between persons. Poetry and the Fate of the Senses includes close discussions of poems by Stevens, Hopkins, Keats, Hardy, Bishop, and Traherne, of the sense of vertigo in Baroque and Romantic works, and of the rich tradition of nocturnes in visual, musical, and verbal art. Ultimately, Stewart explores the pivotal role of poetry in contemporary culture. She argues that poetry can counter the denigration of the senses and can expand our imagination of the range of human expression. Poetry and the Fate of the Senses won the 2004 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, administered for the Truman Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. It also won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2002 Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism.

30 review for Poetry and the Fate of the Senses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Kelley

    sl;dkfjsd;lfkj;flkjdf;lksdjfdls;kfj; oh my god

  2. 4 out of 5

    some mushroom dude

    frustrating -- but that brilliant chapter on anne finch!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I had high expectations for this book -- high enough that when I got halfway through and realized I hadn't internalized anything Stewart had said, I started over at the beginning and took notes to keep me focused. And for that first half, it payed off. Stewart has lucid and interesting thoughts tracing the history of the various senses in literature, and the ways in which they show up in poetry. Unfortunately, I thought the book lost focus in the second half. There were entire chapters that left I had high expectations for this book -- high enough that when I got halfway through and realized I hadn't internalized anything Stewart had said, I started over at the beginning and took notes to keep me focused. And for that first half, it payed off. Stewart has lucid and interesting thoughts tracing the history of the various senses in literature, and the ways in which they show up in poetry. Unfortunately, I thought the book lost focus in the second half. There were entire chapters that left me wondering how it related back to her basic points on senses, interpersonal relation and deixis, or even what conclusions Stewart was trying to draw at all. The last chapter is worth reading at the beginning, perhaps, because it lays out at least what Stewart saw as connective tissue. Ultimately, I'm more disappointed because the book started out so strongly than critical of how it ended. It's not bad, but if I were recommending it, I might suggest only reading the first few chapters.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    I only have one chapter from this which was photocopied for a class on Interart/Intermedial Theory, but I've enjoyed that one chapter quite a bit. I need to buy the whole book and get through it. I don't remember if there was an explicit connection, but for some reason I associate this book with a guest lecture by Regina Bendix for the Dundes memorial series where Bendix got into the "sensorium" and the problematic nature of an intersubjective world, bridging the gap between individual experienc I only have one chapter from this which was photocopied for a class on Interart/Intermedial Theory, but I've enjoyed that one chapter quite a bit. I need to buy the whole book and get through it. I don't remember if there was an explicit connection, but for some reason I associate this book with a guest lecture by Regina Bendix for the Dundes memorial series where Bendix got into the "sensorium" and the problematic nature of an intersubjective world, bridging the gap between individual experiences. Anyway, good book, sometimes a bit hard to follow, but I've no real complaints. Update-- now have a copy of the book, and am very very slowly getting through the first chapter. Like it, but don't have much time to read these days.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    Liking this so far....absolutely not written in the plain style, and sometimes she's really a little too in love with her own way of saying some kinda obvious things, also a little too 'western' i guess, for me - I'm in the first section which is all kinda 'lightness/darkness' metaphors, but it's got some really awesome stuff on the Iliad.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Wonderful prose, very evocative, especially the first two chapters...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Flora

    Not her best. "On Longing" stands as one of the strangest, most beautifully-written works of literary criticism there is, and "Crimes of Writing" runs a close second.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Dobran

  10. 5 out of 5

    abdolla abdollay

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leif

  14. 4 out of 5

    James

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Peery

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Schuman

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Scappettone

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  20. 4 out of 5

    Don

  21. 4 out of 5

    Clai.lasher

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  23. 4 out of 5

    daniella reinhard

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  25. 5 out of 5

    murkuo

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trina

  30. 5 out of 5

    Weirwoo

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