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Katharina Lempe
Poetics of Loss
The Elegy in Andrew Motion's Poetry
Reihe: Erlanger Studien zur Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Bd. 15, 2014, 248 S., 29.90 EUR, 29.90 CHF, br., ISBN 978-3-643-90606-9

With the removal of death from the public sphere, mourning has become a private matter. At the same time, particularly in poetry, the trend is reversed. An intensely elegiac quality and a focus on absence, death and loss can be observed in contemporary Anglophone poetry.

This study shows the poetry of Andrew Motion in the context of the contemporary elegy, a genre which is at a crossroads between the anti-consolatory refusal to mourn, the inability to move past grief, and the strong wish for redemption from grief. Motion's poetry, which mainly deals with pre-emptive attempts to cope with loss, can be seen as a typical example for the contemporary melancholy mood in poetry.

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