Critical Rhythm: The Poetics of a Literary Life Form

January 2019
9780823282036

Explores both the theory and practice of rhythm in literature with a focus on nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry. Emphasis on rhythm’s role in contemporary literary criticism, including debates about poetic form and genre.

“What does it mean, and what has it meant historically, to participate in verse’s rhythmic patternings? This volume, with incandescent and defamiliarizing rhythms of its own, takes up rhythm as the central, ever-fugitive term in debates over sound and sense, the visible and the audible, the history of prosodic discourses, and methodological approaches to reading and performance. Reaching beyond the metrical constraints of foot prosody to powers of rhythm generally left underexplored in Anglo-American criticism, the formidable array of scholars gathered here opens up resonant inquiries into empirical, historical, ontological, phenomenological, and allegorical dimensions of rhythm in English-language verse of the past two centuries.” - Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania