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Title: What use is poetry? :Chasing the ivy : (a collection of poetry), and, What use is poetry? : (the role of poets and poetry with particular reference to Horace and the combination of use and beauty)
Authors: Almond, Maureen
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The thesis comprises a collection of poems and a dissertation. Chasing the Ivy is a collection of poems inspired by Horace and his belief (expressed in the Ars Poetica) that the highest form of poetry combines usefulness and beauty. The collection is not a translation but a recontextualisation of the thirty eight odes which comprise Horace Odes I. The collection also includes eleven poems written in the voices of those women who frequently appear in the poems of Horace. Chasing the Ivy addresses the contemporary poetic career, the difficulties involved in publication and the establishment of a literary career. It uses a variety of voices both male and female; the poems invariably have addressees and in order to replicate Horace’s approach use, irony, comedy and self-deprecation. The poems also contain the recurring Horatian themes of impotence, death, relationships and the simple life. The dissertation represents a study of the attitude towards the combination of usefulness and beauty in poetry today as compared with the views expressed by the Roman poet, Horace (see Chapter One). In Chapter Two some major defences and views about poetry and the role of the poet in Britain from the time of Sir Philip Sidney to modern times is examined, concentrating most specifically on usefulness and beauty. The Romantic approach to poetry as an art for its own sake is challenged and it is argued that the proponents of that approach had still to acknowledge its usefulness. Chapter Three, the largest section of the dissertation concerns my personal practice, how I interpret usefulness and beauty, how I use it for educational, social and political reasons as well as for literary ones, I recount how and in what ways my practical poetry residencies have been used by individuals and communities to broaden, educate and enlighten whilst at the same time providing enjoyment and I comment on the use of my poetry by academics and classical scholars. I also reflect on the ways in which my approach to poetry mirrors that of Horace, thereby prompting this research. My conclusions following this research are contained in Chapter Four.
Description: PhD thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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