The Lives of Others: Tactics of Encounter and Wandering in Jennifer Maiden’s Poetry
In this discussion of Maiden’s poetics, Cassidy looks at the way she has ‘developed and refined a poetics motivated by her belief in “living out an idea” in poetic form’, ‘using the idiom of warfare to compare various scenarios of human conflict: from Vietnam to Iraq, and from the White House to the kitchen sink’ (p. 51). She shows how Maiden, despite using an extended trope of war ‘has continued to suspend the poetic space above political partisanship, through ironic approaches to voice and form, such as parataxis, compounded similes, and pastiche of tone and image. This heightened poetics has provided an enlighteningly self-reflexive enactment of her earliest poems. By demanding that her readers make a decision about how they encounter the poetic space, Maiden’s poetry possesses a politics without being political, just as it possesses an ethics without morality.’ (p. 68)
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