Quantum Poetics examines the way modernist poets appropriated scientific metaphors as part of a general search for the pre-verbal origins of poetry. Daniel Albright traces Modernism's search for the elementary particles from which poems were constructed. The poetic possibilities offered by developments in scientific discourse intrigued Yeats, Eliot and Pound, writers intent on remapping the general theory of poetry. Using models supplied by physicists, Yeats sought for the basic units of poetic force, both through his sequence A Vision and through his belief in, and defence of, the purity of symbols. Pound's whole critical vocabulary, Albright claims, aims at drawing art and science together in a search for poetic precision, the tiniest textual particles that held poems together. Through a series of patient and original readings, Quantum Poetics demonstrates how modernists created a whole new way of thinking about poetry and science as two different aspects of the same quest.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press