Official Criticism? Critical Practices and Australian Poetry
Discussion of poetry's relative cultural significance can and should be localised; however much we might want to follow the overseas debates, national and specific cultural orientations are at least half the story here. What do we do, then, with this diminished thing poetry? The nostalgia for poetry can have a positive valency in this context; it can be mobilised in the service of the demystifying recognition that if we want our own meanings then we will have to make them. Thus poetry has a place in the sphere of representations, however modest, where it can engage with ideological contentions and contribute to the realm of freedom: as social technology (by valuing certain discursive networks and techniques of self cultivation) and as individual agency (through politico-linguistic artifice). We do with it, then, what we can.
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