- Poezja wyjaśniająca swój własny rodowód: Czesław Miłosz a John Ashbery
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- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
A poetry that explains its own genesis: Czesław Miłosz and John Ashbery
The first part of this paper considers the origin of the metaphysical import of the constructive principle in the long poems of the ageing Czesław Miłosz (my analysis focuses on "From the Rising of the Sun" and "The separate Notebooks"; Miłosz first tentative realization of these poetics was his famous "Poetical Tractate"). The second part compares the mature Miłosz’s strategies of linking poetics and metaphysics, pivoting upon the idea of simultaneity of "moments", with the creative practice of the American poet John Ashbery, who in his long poems (e.g. "Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror") attempted to realize a model of poetry explaining its own genesis as an immanent feature of the text. I think it could be asserted that Miłosz, who was very critical of Ashbery’s poetry, created in his long poems written after 1960 an open structure in many respects reminiscent of (in fact even "anticipating") Ashbery’s poetical model. This open structure has Romantic antecedents (the "Wordsworthian" poem of autobiographical self-reflection). The difference between both poets appears to be essentially "ideological" (Christianity versus Agnosticism).
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