PJAS 11 Autumn-11

Kacper Bartczak
The Poetics of Plenitude in Peter Gizzi’s Recent Poetry
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 11 (Autumn 2017), pp. 391-407


This article continues my earlier exploration of an aesthetic, poetic, and cognitive phenomenon that I am calling “the poetics of plenitude.” Here, I trace this poetics in Peter Gizzi’s more recent volumes, with special attention given to his 2015 collection Archeophonics. In my discussion, I show how the term “plenitude,” which I distinguish against a number of other uses of this concept, evolves in Gizzi’s poems toward an emergence of a subjectivity. Such emergence is triggered within the space of a poem working as a device that modulates a specifically understood excess of externality. The externality engaged by Gizzi’s poetry is a kind of pragmatist composite that links the sense of the material presence of the world with the larger body of the earlier poetic descriptions of this presence. Since such amalgamation of matter with its existent poetic description entails contact with the poetic predecessors of the newly emerging poet, Gizzi’s variety of the poetics of plenitude also shows a new understanding of what Harold Bloom conceptualized when he argued that poetry is a response to the “anxiety of influence.”

Keywords: Peter Gizzi, anxiety of influence, pragmatist poetics, poetics of plenitude

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.11/2/2017.11

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