"I have nothing to say, only to show": appropriation in the poetries of Trevor Joyce, Alan Halsey, and Susan Howe
O'Mahony, Niamh Marie
University College Cork
This thesis studies contemporary poetry’s innovations in textual borrowing and the range and scope of its appropriative practices. The restrictions of the inherited definitions of appropriation include a limited capacity for expression and meaningfulness, a partial concept of appropriation’s critical capacity, and an inadequate sense of the poet’s individual and unique practice of appropriation. This thesis resolves the problematic constraints limiting contemporary definitions of appropriation by tracing the history of the practice to reveal an enduring relation between appropriation and poetic expression. Close readings of Trevor Joyce’s, Alan Halsey’s, and Susan Howe’s poetry serve as evidence of contemporary poetry’s development of appropriation beyond the current ascriptions and offer some direction on how the critical understanding of appropriation might be extended and redefined. Here, appropriation is recognized as another source of lyric expression, critical innovation, and conceptual development in contemporary poetry. This thesis encourages a new perspective on the purpose and processes of poetic appropriation and the consequences of its declarative potential for both poet and poem.
Poetry , Innovative poetry , Trevor Joyce , Susan Howe , Alan Halsey , Appropriation
O'Mahony, N. M. 2015. "I have nothing to say, only to show": appropriation in the poetries of Trevor Joyce, Alan Halsey, and Susan Howe. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.