Poems in Their Place: The Intertextuality and Order of Poetic Collections

By Neil Fraistat | Go to book overview

the importance of studying the poetry book as an interpretive object, help develop a theory of such study, and provide a generous set of models for a related practical criticism. For it is only by better understanding the book as place that we will ever fully appreciate the appropriate place of the book in the editing, reading, and teaching of poetry.


NOTES
1.
These comments by Thibaudet are cited by Jonathan Culler in Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature ( Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1975), p. 131.
2.
Common in seventeenth-century usage but now rare, "contexture" denotes an "interwoven structure," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which also lists a specifically literary application: "the construction or composition of a writing as consisting of connected and coherent members." See also Neil Fraistat, The Poem and the Book: Interpreting Collections of Romantic Poetry (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985), p. 4. Parts of this introductory essay have already appeared in chapter 1 of The Poem and the Book.
3.
See, for instance, the essays below by Vincent Carretta and Jerome J. McGann.
4.
Although my own definition of contexture is expressed in terms of forms arranged by the author, the concerns of contextural poetics might be widened fruitfully to include miscellanies, anthologies, and other types of collections characterized by corporate authorship or editorial arrangement. A contextural critic might study, for example, an editor such as George Bannatyne, who, working no doubt with the Greek Anthology and Meleager Garland as models, was probably the first in Britain to organize an anthology generically and one of the first to attempt to unify an anthology through careful arrangement. From such studies, we might go on to develop a set of distinctions between characteristic authorial and editorial strategies for organizing collections. For an interesting discussion of corporate authorship in Japanese collections, see Earl Miner's essay below. For the importance of genre as a means of organization in Donne's canon, see John Shawcross's essay below.
5.
The Alexandrians were certainly not the first Western poets to arrange groups of their own poems, however. Although our evidence is sketchy, Sappho, Mimnermos, and Theognis--among others--may all have done so before the rise of the poetry book in Alexandria. See, for example, H. J. Rose, A Handbook of Greek Literature: From Homer to the Age of Lucian, 4th ed. rev. ( London: Methuen, 1954), pp. 83, 85-88, 97, and passim.
6.
John Van Sickle, "The Book-Roll and Some Conventions of the Poetic Book," Arethusa 13 ( 1980): 6. I have found Van Sickle's entire discussion of the book-roll enlightening, pp. 5-42. For additional observations on the effect of the book-roll on the reading process, see William S. Anderson's essay below.

-14-

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Poems in Their Place: The Intertextuality and Order of Poetic Collections
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction the Place of the Book and the Book as Place 3
  • Notes 14
  • Some Issues for Study of Integrated Collections 18
  • Notes 40
  • The Theory and Practice of Poetic Arrangement from Vergil to Ovid 44
  • Notes 63
  • Sequences, Systems, Models Sidney and the Secularization of Sonnets 66
  • Notes 91
  • Jonson, Marvell, and Miscellaneity? 95
  • Notes 115
  • The Arrangement and Order of John Donne's Poems 119
  • Appendix A: Epigrams 150
  • Appendix B: Love Elegies 150
  • Appendix C: Epicedes and Obsequies 153
  • Appendix D: Divine Poems 154
  • Appendix E: Verse Letters 155
  • "Strange Text!" "Paradise Regain'D . . . to Which is Added Samson Agonistes" 164
  • Notes 191
  • "Images Reflect from Art to Art" Alexander Pope's Collected Works of 1717 195
  • Notes 231
  • Multum in Pairvo Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes of 1807 234
  • Notes 251
  • The Book of Byron and the Book of a World 254
  • Notes 271
  • The Arrangement of Browning's Dramatic Lyrics (1842) 273
  • Notes 286
  • Whitman's Leaves and the American "Lyric-Epic" 289
  • Notes 306
  • Marjorie Perloff the Two Ariels the (re)making of the Sylvia Plath Canon 308
  • Notes 331
  • Index 335
  • Notes on the Contributors 343
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