Poetic Language: Theory and Practice from the Renaissance to the Present

Research output: Book/ReportBook


What makes poetic language poetic? Whilst researchers of most kinds have abandoned the idea that formally distinctive features of poetic language might be identified, current thinking about poetry still maintains that poetic language demands a particular kind of attention from its readers. That attention alerts us to specific qualities of language and the social world with which it is closely interwoven. In a series of chapters in which exemplary poems are read next to theoretical discussions of poetic language, this book argues that the attention-seeking and attention-rewarding language of poems enriches their readers' sense of the contingencies and necessities in play when those poems extend the range of human meanings.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages213
ISBN (Electronic)9780748656202
ISBN (Print)9780748656165, 9780748656172
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • poetic language; poetics; literary theory; practical criticism; modern poetry; structuralism; post-structuralism; philosophy of language.


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