The poetry of Pierre Seghers
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Although Pierre Seghers is well-known as publisher and promoter of poetry, his own poetry, as a corpus, has never been the focus of academic attention. This study approaches his poetry first through the themes. The picture which emerges, of the universe and the individual's position in this universe, is characterised by dynamism; nature, society and the individual are all in a state of becoming. So, too, are the individual's relationship with the outside world and the picture he has of himself. For the poet, these are realised in the language of his poetry. Part II is a study of the poetic technique. The importance attached by Seghers to the oral quality of poetry has led to an emphasis on the rhythms of Seghers's verse. Features which are typical of his verse and which give rise to dynamism in the verse itself are studied in relation to the dynamism which is conveyed thematically. The poetry is divided into four main types. These are the early fixed-form poetry, and three later freer forms: freed alexandrine verse, verse in mixed line-lengths, and verse written in lines of sixteen syllables. The poetry written in a mixture of line-lengths is highlighted as the apogee of Seghers's production: it is here that the dynamic relationship between the self and the outside world is most successfully concretised. The four categories reflect a chronological development, but the poetry seen in each section is studied in a synthetic manner, and a number of features are seen to be common to poetry of different types and from different periods. The synthetic character of the study is complemented by commentaries on three whole poems. A comprehensive bibliography of Seghers's poetry and prose works is found at the end of the thesis.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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