Strips: Scientific Language in Poetry

Middleton, Peter (2009) Strips: Scientific Language in Poetry. Textual Practice, 23, (6), 947-958. (doi:10.1080/09502360903361634).


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The poetry that flourished in America between the mid 1970s and the 1990s known as Language Poetry was influenced by changing public perceptions of the natural sciences as well as the influence of structuralist social sciences. By considering the importance of physics and chemistry for the British poet J. H. Prynne, and the epistemological implications of references to current scientific publications, I discuss the struggles of Language Poets and other contemporary writers to assert the primacy of their own cognitive inquiries in the face of the authority of the sciences. Does poetry adumbrate more extended forms of knowledge and truth than dominant scientific methods recognise, and if so how might writers and critics better articulate these possibilities? The essay demonstrates that these questions have to address sensuous particularity as well as conceptual argument.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09502360903361634
ISSNs: 0950-236X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: language poetry, J. H. Prynne, science and poetry, Ron Silliman, cybernetics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 79386
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
December 2009Published
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:15

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