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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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Peter Inman, Myung Mi Kim, Lyn Hejinian

(p.101) 3 A=L=L=E=G=O=R=I=E=S
Poetic Machinations

Michael Golston

Columbia University Press

Chapter 3 is a study of allegory in Language poetry, specifically in the works of Peter Inman, Lyn Hejinian, and Myung Mi Kim (the latter, strictly speaking, a post-Language poet). It begins by discussing the Language poets’ interests in Russian Formalism and particularly in Roman Jakobson’s theory of metaphor and metonymy and axial projection. It then describes how Inman’s poem allegorically transcodes writing and Fordist assembly line production in order to treat American history and especially North American native peoples; how Kim’s poem transcodes colonialism and the printing press; and how Hejinian uses the alphabet as a page-specific grid to organize fragments of texts she collects from various sources, and notably from the works of Jean Piaget.

Keywords:   Peter Inman, Lyn Hejinian, Myung Mi Kim, Language poetry, Roman Jakobson, Structuralist poetics

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