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Poem Unlimited

New Perspectives on Poetry and Genre

Ed. by Kerler, David / Müller, Timo

Series:Buchreihe der Anglia / Anglia Book Series 63

eBook (PDF)
Publication Date:
September 2019
Copyright year:
2019
ISBN
978-3-11-059487-4
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“I Have Always Aspired to a More Spacious Form”: Czesław Miłosz’s Reflection on Poetic Genres in American Exile

Kołodziejczyk, Ewa

Abstract

The article discusses the ways Czesław Miłosz’s perception of genres evolved starting from his early literary career in Poland (1934-1945) until the year 1968 in California, when his famous manifesto Ars poetica? appeared. In this poem, he ultimately rejected a traditional perception of literature, defined as texts distinguished for their specific features or as a repertoire of norms in favor of literature aggregating all possible discourses, forms and styles. The paper demonstrates how his acquisition of Hebrew and Greek as well as his encounter with Allen Ginsberg’s poetry influenced his understanding of genres and his literary goals. The intellectual solitude of the exilic poet freed him from the thematic and formal expectations of his audience in communist Poland, where literature was being censored and émigré authors were the only voices of the voiceless. Not only did Miłosz avoid being a political voice, but he used circumstances of his life to absorb twentieth-century discourses in order to provide a literary testimony to his epoch.

Citation Information

Ewa Kołodziejczyk (2019). “I Have Always Aspired to a More Spacious Form”: Czesław Miłosz’s Reflection on Poetic Genres in American Exile. In David Kerler, Timo Müller (Eds.), Poem Unlimited: New Perspectives on Poetry and Genre (pp. 127–138). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110594874-009

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110594874

Online ISBN: 9783110594874

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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