'Unhackneyed Solitudes': Recycled Fragment as Lyric Voice in the Poetry of Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath

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Overview

Title
'Unhackneyed Solitudes': Recycled Fragment as Lyric Voice in the Poetry of Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath
Contributors
Rayburn, Laurel G (creator)
Blasing, Mutlu (Director)
Katz, Tamar (Reader)
Nabers, Deak (Reader)
Rooney, Ellen (Reader)
Brown University. English (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0057D7J
Copyright Date
2012
Abstract
My dissertation argues that lyric is best defined as an indirection of voice rather than the subjective experience of a persona. Following Paul de Man, I regard the invocative mode as signaling lyric, and yet my project shows the complications inherent in its identification. The poets I read—Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath—show that voice trajectories are indirect precisely because words arrive in poems already recycled. Every word carries within it its history as a constituent of other discursive contexts, a history that always conditions the trajectories of voice the poem can make. The repetitions inhering in the laws of poetic form necessarily compete with the banalities of linguistic recycling, even as the poem depends on such reused words for its very existence. If the lyric “I” has been recognized for its ability to call to a “you,” then my poets show that the “I” must involuntarily listen to more than the “you” which is of its making. Indeed, the calling “I” also listens to the excess of sound whose origin cannot be traced. <br/> Lyric in my argument thus does not describe a poetic artifact, but is instead a mode of language that calls out to itself in order to sound the history of the words that constitute it. Lyric tracks the normative history of the words that are its materials even as poem simultaneously generates its own system of values. I argue that “genre” is neither reducible to historical context, but nor is it a stylistic “flag” or “badge” that fixes its normative effects prior to the moment of the poem’s unfolding. Genre returns in my model in a latent capacity at the level of the fragment, word, and repeated sound. <br/>
Keywords
Lyric voice
Moore
Bishop
Plath
recycled
genre
Literary form
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2012)
Extent
viii, 172 p.

Citation

Rayburn, Laurel G., "'Unhackneyed Solitudes': Recycled Fragment as Lyric Voice in the Poetry of Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath" (2012). English Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0057D7J

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