Synopses & Reviews
In Poetic Closure, distinguished literary scholar Barbara Herrnstein Smith explores the provocative question: How do poems end? To answer it, Smith examines numerous individual poems and examples of common poetic forms in order to reveal the relationship between closure and the overall structure and integrity of a poem. First published in 1968, Smiths book remains essential reading in poetic theory.
“Ranging from Elizabethan lyric through free and syllabic verse and concrete poetry, Poetic Closure is a learned, witty, and richly illustrated study of the behavior of poems. . . . It can be read, enjoyed, studied by people who like reading poetry, including—I would suspect—poets.”—Richard M. Elman, New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Barbara Herrnstein Smith is distinguished professor of English at Brown University and the Braxton Craven Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Duke University, where she is also director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory.
Table of Contents
I A Definition of Poetic Structure II The Perception of Poetic Structure III Poetry and Speech IV Poetry, Form, and Integrity V Style and Conventions VI Closure and Stability 2 Formal Structure and Closure
I Introduction II Closure and Formal Conventions: The English Sonnet III Stanzaic Forms IV The Rhymed Couplet V Blank Verse VI Free Verse 3 Thematic Structure and Closure
I Introduction II Paratactic Structure III Sequential Structure Temporal Sequence Logical and Syntactic Sequences
IV Associative and Dialectic Structure 4 Special Terminal Features
I Introduction: Closure and the Sense of Truth II Formal Devices and Nonsytematic Repetition III Puns, Parallelism, and Antithesis IV Thematic Devices: Closural Allusions V Thematic Devices: Unqualified Assertions VI The Poetic Coda 5 Further Aspects and Problems of Closure
I Epigram and Epigrammatic II Failures of Closure III Closure and Anti-Closure in Modern Poetry IV Coda: Beyond Closure BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX