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Type: Journal article
Title: Does function follow form? Openness and formal association in the early poetry of John Forbes
Author: Coleman, A.N.
Citation: TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs, 2019; 23(2):1-20
Publisher: TEXT Journal
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1327-9556
Statement of
Aidan Coleman
Abstract: This article aims to reconstruct features of John Forbes’ compositional process in his first decade of serious practice, through analysing drafts and early versions of his poems. I compare early versions of ‘Here’, ‘The Joyful Mysteries’ and ‘Stalin’s Holidays’ to their final incarnations to show how Forbes was resistant to a fixed, or single, idea when writing a poem. In the context of such openness, Forbes’ poems often moved towards a sense of closure, through the pressure his use of form applied and through its more suggestive qualities. Following a comment Forbes made in an interview, I label this process ‘formal association’. I contend that Forbes sought a balance between closure and openness, while arguing that the dynamic interplay of this openness with formal association, during the composition, was crucial to his achievement.
Keywords: John Forbes; form; openness; closure; composition
Rights: © Copyright of all work published in TEXT remains with the authors. For republication, contact the author direct and acknowledge TEXT.
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
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