English Research Seminar Professor Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale)
Lyric’s Ontological Turn: Thinking with Donne and Marvell
The lyric poems of John Donne and Andrew Marvell have long been connected to the vexed question of poetry’s philosophic engagements. They raise questions about how poetry might absorb, formulate, enact, and/or respond to philosophical questions and influences. This talk seeks to recast these questions by asking: what kind of thinking is possible—indeed, distinctive—in the lyric? How might we describe the philosophic affordances of the lyric as a mode of thinking in and about the world? Drawing on recent scholarship in anthropology, I take the debates around “metaphysical” poetry as an occasion for returning to the philosophical stakes of lyric voice and subjectivity.
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