Essays

Poetic Value and Erotic Norms: A Response to Helen Vendler

Author: Vivian Pollak

  • Poetic Value and Erotic Norms: A Response to Helen Vendler

    Essays

    Poetic Value and Erotic Norms: A Response to Helen Vendler

    Author:

Abstract

Takes issue with Vendler's "Poetry and the Mediation of Value: Whitman on Lincoln" (Michigan Quarterly Review, Winter 2000), arguing that "Vendler's formalist and broadly humanist reading of value . . . mainly focuses on repressing the particulars of Whitman's Americanness, of his racialized politics, and of his sexuality"; suggests that Whitman "was not interested in preserving the purity of lyric as a genre" and in fact "encourages us to transgress generic ideals and the limiting conventions of authorship with which they are associated," thus making "his poetry . . . inseparable from his prose" and leading us "to honor the idiosyncratic."

How to Cite:

Pollak, V., (2001) “Poetic Value and Erotic Norms: A Response to Helen Vendler”, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 18(3), 134-146. doi: https://doi.org/10.13008/2153-3695.1647

Rights: Copyright © 2001 Vivian Pollak

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Published on
01 Jan 2001
Peer Reviewed