Poetic Self-Experience

  • Abstract:

    In Kierkegaard’s definition, “the self is a relation that relates itself to itself.” First person lyric poetry is the ideal locus for such self-relation, and lyric poems have been confronting the self with itself since the advent of Romanticism, from Wordsworth’s “I cannot paint what then I was” to John Ashbery’s “The soul is not a Soul.” My paper, drawn from a larger project, will be about self’s experience of itself in the romantic and the post romantic lyric, and the reader’s experience of selfhood as both self and other in the experience of reading such lyrics.