Focuses on how nuances of poetic form alter how we have come to understand cultural aspects of time.
Figures of Time proposes radically new ideas about the very poetic ground of culture. Presenting unique close readings of six modern poets—Wallace Stevens, W. B. Yeats, H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, and T. S. Eliot—David Ben-Merre brings recent theoretical questions about the rhetoric of modernism and poetic figuration into current discussions in critical theory. He argues that poetic spaces, often disjunctions of sound and sense, disrupt our culturally inherited notions of time, reimagining with an often irrational and anachronistic backward glance what we take to be historical chronologies, psychological perceptions of time, and collective scripts about causality.
David Ben-Merre is Associate Professor of English at Buffalo State College, State University of New York.