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I, the PoetFirst-Person Form in Horace, Catullus, and Propertius$
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Kathleen McCarthy

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739552

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739552.001.0001

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Poetry That Says “Ego”

Poetry That Says “Ego”

Chapter:
(p.134) Chapter 3 Poetry That Says “Ego”
Source:
I, the Poet
Author(s):

Kathleen McCarthy

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501739552.003.0004

This chapter highlights how, in various ways, the speaking voice within the text can be separated from or aligned with the historical poet who crafts the text. It analyzes a subset of each author's work to allow for greater focus. For Propertius, the chapter demonstrates how the well-recognized contrast between his first book and second book can show him serially experimenting with different relations between the Ego and himself. For Catullus, it assesses his ability to deploy both internal and external perspectives in the poems that treat poetry and its reception. For Horace, the chapter explores how he exploits the implications of sympotic poetry to negotiate his self-presentation as a poet. Ultimately, the fact that all three poets find various ways of playing speaker and poet off against one another shows that they are sensitive to the difference between speaking in poetry and speaking through poetry.

Keywords:   speaking voice, historical poet, Propertius, Ego, Catullus, poems, poetry, Horace, sympotic poetry, first-person speaker

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