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Knowing PoetryVerse in Medieval France from the Rose to the Rhétoriqueurs$
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Adrian Armstrong and Sarah Kay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449734

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449734.001.0001

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Knowledge and the Practice of Poetry

Knowledge and the Practice of Poetry

(p.135) Chapter Five Knowledge and the Practice of Poetry
Knowing Poetry

Adrian Armstrong

Sarah Kay

Rebecca Dixon

Miranda Griffin

Sylvia Huot

Francesca Nicholson

Finn Sinclair

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the ways in which poetry is an object of knowledge in ways more specific to itself. It shows the reflexivity of verse, its simultaneous role as both a means to knowledge and an object of knowledge. It begins by considering the properties of poems that poets claim to be praiseworthy. The discussion then turns to intertextual allusion, which reveals the capacities of poetry. Through it poets may construct horizons of audience expectation and endow formal features with new meanings, exhibit their grasp of their literary heritage, and reshape knowledge by transforming ideas inherited from previous poems. Particular attention is devoted to two closely related practices: quotation and lyric insertion. Through quotation, poems present other poems as already encapsulating certain forms of knowledge; the technique provokes reflection through selectivity or distortion and is apt to problematize ideological assumptions or genre boundaries. Lyric insertion raises questions about the relationship between framing and framed texts, each of which offers knowledge about the other.

Keywords:   poetry, knowledge, reflexivity, verse, quotation, lyric insertion, intertextual allusion

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