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DEMONSTRATEGY

“Poetry is not dying for want of an audience,” H. L. Hix boldly opens his meditation on the why and wherefore of poetry, Demonstrategy, but rather, “humanity is dying for want of poetry.”  His argument for the necessity of poetry, its “ethopoesis,” as Hix theorizes, is a capacious inquiry into what comprises a poetry adequate to our cultural need.  Chapters focus forcefully on matters both urgent and cerebral (poetry against patriarchy and tyranny, poetry for reparation and dissent).  Drawing on a wealth of ancient and modern thinkers about language and poetry (ranging from Herakleitos to the astonishing Jan Zwicky) to investigate various aspects of the field, Hix builds a brilliant case for poetry’s cause.  Like T. S. Eliot’s Tradition, which alters with the publication of the new (the really new) work of artistic genius, the set of great philosophical defenses of poetry must now move over and make room for H. L. Hix’s scorching-smart Demonstrategy.

 

 Cynthia Hogue, author of In June the Labyrinth

 

 

 

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