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Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism: Dialogue and by I. Gregson

By I. Gregson

Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism explores the fraught dating among the poetry of the mainstream and types of modernist poetry that experience needed to make their method open air it. Mainstream poets like Paul Muldoon, James Fenton and Carol Ann Duffy multiply voices and so draw on assets from the unconventional - Bakhtin's notion of the dialogic is for this reason used to provide an explanation for their ideas. in contrast, Shklovsky's thought of 'estrangement' is proven to be extra helpful in accounting for the novel experimentation of poets like Edwin Morgan, Christopher Middleton and Denise Riley. notwithstanding, the booklet concludes by means of suggesting that - partially a result of impact of surrealism in ladies poets like Selima Hill and Jo Shapcott - the mainstream has lately been infiltrated by way of modernist and postmodernist estrangement effects.

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The first arises from grief butmingles it with the taut apprehension that characterises the rest of "Back from the Front": Queenie puts the book down carefully "as if she could see a child/ poised and precious/ at a fifth-floor window,/ and dare not shout" . The second employs its cropped stasis to evoke a moment as it turns momentous with her husband's homecoming: "Henry. " What already makes these images other than simply photographic, though, is that they are both coloured by Queenie's angle of vision.

His poems characteristically avoid the feeling of closure, their manner is often deliberately awkward, angular, and they often employ ellipsis like a shrug of the shoulders. His manner, too, is provisional because he wishes to insist on "incompleteness, becoming, ambiguity, indefinability, non-canonicalism - indeed all that jolts us out of our normal expectations and epistemological complacency" (Clark and Holquist, 312). Interestingly, though, Clark and Holquist are describing here what Bakhtin saw in the "carnival spirit".

But the cricket square is pale with care and attention, adhesive pIaster removed. The patient sight-screens survive like polar ice-caps, and at this world's omphalos an abandoned iron castor. "Horne", he whispers to Queenie, watehing his youngest lurch on sturdy statuesque limbs . Flesh here keeps turning into stone or metal. But the more Henry settles in the more the tension is resolved - or, rather, is melted sexually away. This is signalIed first in his desire being likened to "a thick tile of honey", an image precariously poised between solid and liquid, but it takes control when Henry is said to have "waited too long/ to touch the wetness/ he has wanted all day" - so that the previous images of hardness and dryness are retrospectively adjusted.

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