Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that John Keats’s 1817 first volume Poems evinces a commitment to occasionalism that suffuses, and indeed defines, Keats’s work. Rather than simply viewing poems as responses to particular happenings, Keats deploys a mode of figuration in 1817 that, by privileging the notion of instance, displays the limits of poetry’s historically mediating operations. With a consideration of the volume’s arrangement, and close readings of how individual poems bring into relation the occasion of poetic composition and the occasion of the reading act, I argue that 1817 reenvisions poetry’s capacity to teach its readers how to make sense of events, and consequently asks us to rethink still-presiding notions of Keats’s poetic development.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 741-761
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-04
Open Access
No
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