Strips: Scientific Language in Poetry
Textual Practice, 23, (6), . (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.
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