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Poetic MachinationsAllegory, Surrealism, and Postmodern Poetic Form$
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Michael Golston

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164306

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164306.001.0001

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Clark Coolidge

(p.67) 2 Epistemologies
Poetic Machinations

Michael Golston

Columbia University Press

Chapter 2 is a study of formal allegory in the poetry of Clark Coolidge. It describes Coolidge’s and John Ashbery’s interests in surrealism, then argues that the former’s works from the 1970’s should be read as an on-going allegory for film and photography. It also shows how Coolidge derived constructivist principles from writers like William Carlos Williams and painters like Yves Tanguy. The chapter goes on to argue that Coolidge allegorically transcodes the discourses of poetry and film in a series of seven books written over a ten year period, discussing how he appropriates texts from Robert Smithson and bases his early poetry on Smithson’s discussions of minimalist sculpture and art.

Keywords:   Clark Coolidge, John Ashbery, Allegory, Photography, Surrealism, Robert Smithson

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