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Affective Mapping: Voice, Space, and Contemporary British Lyric Poetry

YEUNG, HEATHER,HEI-TAI (2011) Affective Mapping: Voice, Space, and Contemporary British Lyric Poetry. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis investigates the manner in which an understanding of the spatial nature of the contemporary lyric poem (broadly reducible to the poem as and the poem of space) combines with voicing and affect in the act of reading poetry to create a third way in which space operates in the lyric: the ‘vocalic space’ of the voiced lyric poem. Together with the poem as and of space, the vocalic space of the contemporary lyric poem gives way to an enunciating I and eye with which we, as reader, identify and which we voice, in a process of ‘affective mapping’. Voice, and the spaces the I/eye of the contemporary lyric poem visualises and articulates, is affective, contested, and multiple. Visual and vocalic identification with the voice of the poem through this free, fragmented, or multiple, I/eye leads us to understand more fully the poem on its own terms. The chapters of this thesis offer readings of John Montague’s The Rough Field, Thomas Kinsella’s A Technical Supplement, Kathleen Jamie’s This Weird Estate, and Alice Oswald’s Dart, as well as the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn and Mimi Khalvati, in order to investigate the implication of this thesis on the way we read, voice, and analyse contemporary British lyric poetry. The work of each poet offers different perspectives on perception, place, and space, and different engagements with the voiced and textual spaces of poetry, from the more formal poetics of Heaney, Jamie, and Gunn, to the experiments with text and image of Montague, Kinsella, and Jamie, the use of different languages by Montague, Jamie, and Khalvati, and the manipulation of the space of the page and angle of poetic vision and voice by Montague, Khalvati, and Oswald. The chapters work almost chronologically from The Rough Field (1972) to Dart (2002) with an emphasis on the importance of space, voice, and affect to the readings of the poems and poets in question.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Contemporary British Poetry; Lyric Poetry; Poetics; Affect; Space; Voice; John Montague; Thomas Kinsella; Thom Gunn; Seamus Heaney; Kathleen Jamie; Mimi Khalvati; Alice Oswald
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Aug 2011 12:00

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