CS vs IS

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Concessional structure stood out to me as a relative of the ironic structure. The poem is expository, and the central focus seems to rely on the last one or two lines. The concessional structure is a confessional structure. Such as in, Marianne Moore’s “Poetry” in which she condemns the art itself-at first-and then deems it quality literature. The text tells me that she “gives us permission to free ourselves of similar pretensions.” I’m unsure as to how to interpret this form; the ironic structure, though similarly based I think, is a little more straightforward. The supplemental poems in this chapter illustrate a subtle turn. The surprise is evident but the turn itself is ambiguous. “Undone” by Emily Wilson, is indicative of the disenchantment with the previous text. “Was that heaven” is epiphanous, yet still unsure. This, for me, was the line that deemed “Undone” a concessional poem. Although the text’s discussion of how confidence plays a fairly important role in that structure, the poem/poet is unsure of itself/herself.

3 Responses to “CS vs IS”

  1. karlakelsey Says:

    This makes me wonder if the expository can also be felt–as something that goes beyond the feeling of the exposition. Poem-as-the-actual-event VS Poem-as-telling-about-the-event. Perhaps Gerstler’s “Saints” is hard to map because she is trying to use the concessional structure in a way that avoids being expository…This brings me to ask: what would the feeling of concession be…how might this be created with language. Would this differ or be the same as the somewhat calm (in tone) relating of concession via the expository mode?

  2. I’ll try to answer Dr. Kelsey’s first question.

    I *think* feelings (the feeling) can be expositional without being exposition. After all, the dropping-in of certain poems eliminates exposition, and could one not drop-into feeling(s)? This is an instinctual answer, but I really think it is possible.

    Concession, to me, could be such a wide range of expression, which may be why I’m having a hard time mentally differentiating between it and irony. The concessional element could be a literal concession or a concessional _. It could be nounal or adjectival, overt or implied. The overt would make for an “easier” identification (in theory), the implied would create subtler poems like Gerstler’s.

  3. I think it’s interesting how you linked ironic structure and concessional structure as being relatives. Honestly, amongst the three different types of structure we have explored so far, all of them seem to blur each other’s lines fairly frequently. Perhaps I am thinking this because I am finding the “turn” to be such a constant. I think I only view the turn in one way, or, perhaps, once I can recognize it, I simply label it the same way as I have before.

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