What is the role of the senses in the creation and reception of poetry? How does poetry carry on the long tradition of making experience and suffering understood by others? With Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, Susan Stewart traces the path of the aesthetic in search of an explanation for the role of poetry in culture. Herself an acclaimed poet, Stewart not only brings the intelligence of a critic to the question of poetry, but the insight of a practitioner as well. Her new study includes close discussions of poems by Stevens, Hopkins, Keats, Hardy, Bishop, and Traherne, of the sense of vertigo in Baroque and Romantic works, and of the rich tradition of nocturnes in visual, musical, and verbal art. Ultimately, she argues that poetry can counter the denigration of the senses in contemporary life and can expand our imagination of the range of human expression.
Poetry and the Fate of the Senses won the 2004 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, administered for the Truman Capote Estate by the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. It also won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2002 Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism.
"The historical body of poetic forms is more and more an archive of lost sensual experiences the sound of wind in uninhabited spaces; the weight of ripe things not yet harvested." In Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, poet and critic Susan Stewart (On Longing) tracks poetry's sensual engagements, drawing on a truly incredible number of classical and modern canonical texts to show how poetry constructs its peculiar phenomenologies. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.