26 December 2006

Eagleton on Poetry

Terry Eagleton's new book How to read a poem (Blackwells, 2007 - although on sale in November 2006!) represents a rare attempt to write a twenty-first century theory of poetry. Poems have been ignored by literary and cultural theory in all guises; so-called 'Theory' is in fact 'prose theory', only applicable to cultural products which use prose. Overall this is a very worthwhile book, which pulls together many useful reflections on the forgotten genre. Although it takes all its examples from English-language poetry, the approach is exemplary enough to form a basis from which to read poetry in German too.