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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.63, No.4, 775 ~ 798, 2017
American Language Poetry: Its Strategy of Referential Opaqueness and Openness of Life
양균원 Kyoonwon Yang
This paper is an effort to elucidate some characteristics of American language poetry. It will first examine how language poets write difficult poems for political purposes differently from modernist poets. Secondly, it will look into some causes for which they deliberately ignore traditional genres to compose a hybrid of poetry and prose. And thirdly, it will clarify that their poetry pursues singularities rather than a structural core, realizing their anti-reductionist impulse. The strategy of referential opaqueness, on which language poets heavily rely, will be considered as effective in breaking the capitalistic logic of mainstream culture and extending the openness of life. Language poets are unlikely to be acclaimed by general readers, but their poetry still seems to successfully reflect the conditions of postmodernist society. To approach their poetry, we have to be ready to understand language, the world, and the self in a very radical way. As much as language poetry upsets established notions of them, it contributes to the openness of life.
Key Words
언어시, 비지시성, 난해시, 반환원주의적 충동, 미국시, language poetry, referential opaqueness, difficult poems, anti-reductionist impulse, American poetry
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