Poetics is the theory of literary forms and literary discourse.[1]


The term "poetics" comes from the Greek ποιητικός poietikos "pertaining to poetry," literally "creative, productive," from ποιητός poietos "made," verbal adjective of ποιεῖν poiein "to make."[2]

Scholar T. V. F. Brogan identifies[3] three major movements in Western poetics over the past 3,000 years, beginning with the formalist, objectivist Aristotelian tradition (see Poetics). During the romantic era, poetics tended toward expressionism and emphasized the perceiving subject. The 20th century witnessed a return to the Aristotelian paradigm, followed by trends toward metacriticality, or the establishment of a theory of poetics.

Eastern poetics developed primarily with reference to the lyric, as opposed to the mimetic.[3]

In literary criticism

Poetics is distinguished from hermeneutics by its focus not on the meaning of a text, but rather its understanding of how a text's different elements come together and produce certain effects on the reader.[4] Most literary criticism combines poetics and hermeneutics in a single analysis; however, one or the other may predominate given the text and the aims of the one doing the reading.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Gérard Genette (2005), Essays In Aesthetics, Volume 4, p.14:
    My program then was named "Theory of Literary Forms" — a title that I supposed to be less ambiguous for minds a little distant from this specialty, if it is one, than its (for me) synonym Poetics.
  2. "poetic". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. Brogan, T. (1994). The New Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-03672-4.
  4. Culler, Jonathan (1997). Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction.:

Further reading

  • Olson, Charles (1950). Projective Verse. New York, NY: Poetry New York.
  • Ciardi, John (1959). How Does a Poem Mean?. Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press.
  • Drew, Elizabeth (1933). Discovering Poetry. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Harmon, William (2003). Classic Writings on Poetry. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Hashmi, Alamgir (2011). "Eponymous Écriture and the Poetics of Reading a Transnational Epic". Dublin Quarterly, 15.
  • Hobsbaum, Philip (1996). Metre, Rhythm, and Verse Form. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12267-8.
  • Kinzie, Mary (1999). A Poet's Guide to Poetry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-43739-6.
  • Norman, Charles (1962). Poets on Poetry. New York: Collier Books. Original texts from 8 English poets before the 20th Century and from 8 20th Century Americans.
  • Oliver, Mary (1994). A Poetry Handbook. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co. ISBN 0-15-672400-6.
  • Oliver, Mary (1998). Rules for the Dance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-85086-X.
  • Pinsky, Robert (1999). The Sounds of Poetry. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-52617-6.
  • Quinn, Arthur (1993). Figures of Speech. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 1-880393-02-6.
  • Iturat, Isidro (2010). Poetics. Brazil: Indrisos.com. External link in |title= (help)

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