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Feeling as a Foreign Language: The Good Strangeness of Poetry

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In Feeling as a Foreign Language, award-winning poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics? In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare In Feeling as a Foreign Language, award-winning poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics? In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare genetic syndrome, the aesthetics of complexity theory, and the need for "cultural incorrectness." She also meditates on electronic, biological, and linguistic screens; falls in love with an outrageous 17th-century poet; argues for a Dickinsonian tradition in American letters; and calls for a courageous poetics of "inconvenient knowledge." Contents Preamble I. Process Head Notes, Heart Notes, Base Notes Screens: An Alchemical Scrapbook II. Poetics Subversive Pleasures Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse: Singing the Body Eclectic Fractal Amplifications: Writing in Three Dimensions III. Powers The Only Kangaroo among the Beauty Unordinary Passions: Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle Her Moment of Brocade: The Reconstruction of Emily Dickinson IV. Praxis Seed Ink To Organize a Waterfall V. Penchants A Canon for Infidels Three Poets in Pursuit of America The State of the Art Main Things ri0 VI. Premises The Tongue as a Muscle A Poetry of Inconvenient Knowledge


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In Feeling as a Foreign Language, award-winning poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics? In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare In Feeling as a Foreign Language, award-winning poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics? In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare genetic syndrome, the aesthetics of complexity theory, and the need for "cultural incorrectness." She also meditates on electronic, biological, and linguistic screens; falls in love with an outrageous 17th-century poet; argues for a Dickinsonian tradition in American letters; and calls for a courageous poetics of "inconvenient knowledge." Contents Preamble I. Process Head Notes, Heart Notes, Base Notes Screens: An Alchemical Scrapbook II. Poetics Subversive Pleasures Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse: Singing the Body Eclectic Fractal Amplifications: Writing in Three Dimensions III. Powers The Only Kangaroo among the Beauty Unordinary Passions: Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle Her Moment of Brocade: The Reconstruction of Emily Dickinson IV. Praxis Seed Ink To Organize a Waterfall V. Penchants A Canon for Infidels Three Poets in Pursuit of America The State of the Art Main Things ri0 VI. Premises The Tongue as a Muscle A Poetry of Inconvenient Knowledge

30 review for Feeling as a Foreign Language: The Good Strangeness of Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    Fulton's defense of the abstract as fractal and fragment of ideas in life--while vague and, in a strange way sentimental--was very influential on me almost twenty years ago when I first read this book in a poetics class in undergrad. Revisiting this book now, I found it refreshing even if some of the long discussions of Dickinson can almost feel like distractions. Fulton uses science and experimental to push back on the objectivist/imagist fetish for concretizing ideas so valorized by American p Fulton's defense of the abstract as fractal and fragment of ideas in life--while vague and, in a strange way sentimental--was very influential on me almost twenty years ago when I first read this book in a poetics class in undergrad. Revisiting this book now, I found it refreshing even if some of the long discussions of Dickinson can almost feel like distractions. Fulton uses science and experimental to push back on the objectivist/imagist fetish for concretizing ideas so valorized by American poets since Ezra Pound. Fulton's poetic voice does still come through in her essays and while some of this is dated, it is a refreshing read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex Bilzerian

    A book to read and re-read multiple times. Indispensable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    It's been years since I read this. My strongest recollection is that Fulton makes a case for the abstract in poetry. We keep hearing about the values of concreteness, "no ideas but in things", the objective correlative, blah blah blah. Fulton refreshingly puts forth the justification of abstract ideas in poetry. Fulton looks to science, such as fractals and advanced physics, as a potential tributary of poetic form. However one responds to Fulton's poetry, I found her critical ideas worth ponderin It's been years since I read this. My strongest recollection is that Fulton makes a case for the abstract in poetry. We keep hearing about the values of concreteness, "no ideas but in things", the objective correlative, blah blah blah. Fulton refreshingly puts forth the justification of abstract ideas in poetry. Fulton looks to science, such as fractals and advanced physics, as a potential tributary of poetic form. However one responds to Fulton's poetry, I found her critical ideas worth pondering. Fulton also spends some time analyzing Emily Dickinson. One can never have too much analysis and speculation about what the Belle of Amherst was up to!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wally

    I love it when poets write prose about poetry, explicating, unfolding, revealing their art. Alice Fulton here explores the variety of meanings in the word/image "screen" in one long essay; in a couple others, she opens the door to a "fractal poetics," which really caught my imagination, although I admit I will have to reread these essays to even begin to understand what she's talking about. I love it when poets write prose about poetry, explicating, unfolding, revealing their art. Alice Fulton here explores the variety of meanings in the word/image "screen" in one long essay; in a couple others, she opens the door to a "fractal poetics," which really caught my imagination, although I admit I will have to reread these essays to even begin to understand what she's talking about.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Killelea

    I heard about this Fulton's poetics through Kenneth Lincoln, and I have to say that I really don't care for Fulton's theory of "fractal poetics." Her ideas seem merely descriptive; hardly any analysis at all, which is problematic since she is doing literary theory here. I heard about this Fulton's poetics through Kenneth Lincoln, and I have to say that I really don't care for Fulton's theory of "fractal poetics." Her ideas seem merely descriptive; hardly any analysis at all, which is problematic since she is doing literary theory here.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    i'm preparing for a panel i'll be on where my co-panelist is using the idea of fractal poetics as a main topic. i like her essays a bit more than her poems. i'm preparing for a panel i'll be on where my co-panelist is using the idea of fractal poetics as a main topic. i like her essays a bit more than her poems.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sean Patrick

    A quick lesson on postmodern-femenist poetics, plus a foray into fractal poetry, and a great discussion of Emily Dickinson's staring into the abyss. A quick lesson on postmodern-femenist poetics, plus a foray into fractal poetry, and a great discussion of Emily Dickinson's staring into the abyss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Long one of my favorite poets, Alice Fulton also writes engagingly about poets, poems, poetics (and more). This may be the only book about poetry that I've ever re-read. Long one of my favorite poets, Alice Fulton also writes engagingly about poets, poems, poetics (and more). This may be the only book about poetry that I've ever re-read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Lee

  10. 4 out of 5

    Opal McCarthy

  11. 4 out of 5

    LBower

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Poulin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jen Lamb

  15. 5 out of 5

    John

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie Platt

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  21. 5 out of 5

    unnarrator

  22. 5 out of 5

    murkuo

  23. 4 out of 5

    RD Morgan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dana Livermore

  27. 5 out of 5

    lisa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jake Adam

  29. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steven Critelli

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