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Elusive Shores: Lamartine’s Méditations and the Art of Poetry

Elusive Shores: Lamartine’s Méditations and the Art of Poetry discourses on music; but while Vaillant limits himself to "Le Lac" and the hermeneutics of its echoing structure, I propose a fuller reading of the overall volume as the story of Lamartine's own developing "ars poetica". The first section of this paper will highlight how the poet, reconnecting with the experiential and expressive self, reinforced poetry through surprisingly non-sentimentalized confrontations with nature as well as through an explicit resistance to the genre of prose. Next, through a chronological reading of select poems that enact his discourse on poetry in his correspondence, I will trace the poet's figurations of water in the Méditations to show how they reflect critical stages in an evolving poetic process. Lamartine's elusive shores will serve as a metaphor for the way he continually reassesses, effaces, and resituates the limits of poetry. The Poetics of Prosaic Landscapes In surprising contrast to the pale and nebulous depictions of scenery that appear throughout the Méditations, Lamartine's comments to close correspondents indicate that he found inspiration in ordinary, unadorned but vividly illuminated natural surroundings: "je ne me sens aucune curiosité pour tout ce qui n'est pas du soleil et de la belle et pure nature" (to Virieu, Corr http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Elusive Shores: Lamartine’s Méditations and the Art of Poetry

French Forum , Volume 39 (2) – Jan 9, 2014

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 French Forum, Inc.
ISSN
1534-1836
Publisher site
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Abstract

discourses on music; but while Vaillant limits himself to "Le Lac" and the hermeneutics of its echoing structure, I propose a fuller reading of the overall volume as the story of Lamartine's own developing "ars poetica". The first section of this paper will highlight how the poet, reconnecting with the experiential and expressive self, reinforced poetry through surprisingly non-sentimentalized confrontations with nature as well as through an explicit resistance to the genre of prose. Next, through a chronological reading of select poems that enact his discourse on poetry in his correspondence, I will trace the poet's figurations of water in the Méditations to show how they reflect critical stages in an evolving poetic process. Lamartine's elusive shores will serve as a metaphor for the way he continually reassesses, effaces, and resituates the limits of poetry. The Poetics of Prosaic Landscapes In surprising contrast to the pale and nebulous depictions of scenery that appear throughout the Méditations, Lamartine's comments to close correspondents indicate that he found inspiration in ordinary, unadorned but vividly illuminated natural surroundings: "je ne me sens aucune curiosité pour tout ce qui n'est pas du soleil et de la belle et pure nature" (to Virieu, Corr

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 9, 2014

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