Poetic inquiry is name for a mode of thought and discovery that seeks to reveal and communicate truths via intuitive contemplation and creative expression. This intuitive / creative mode of knowledge production and way of being in the world was strongly advocated by diverse and important thinkers in the history of criticism and philosophy, including Ralph Waldo Emerson (who called it “American scholarship”) and Martin Heidegger. The process can be broken down into steps and taught to undergraduates via specific exercises of reading, writing, and questioning. When taught, it opens up complex fields of poetic thought and exploration for students. The fruit of poetic inquiry, as discussed by poets and philosophers of literature is understood to be symbols or images that embody a mysterious, yet evident quality that both Kant and Emerson referred to as “soul.” Poetic inquiry is a potentially revitalizing and galvanizing mode of thought for humanistic study and teaching, making available means of engaging with and producing texts that are both very fresh and steeped in poetic tradition. It provides a contemplative alternative to the highly problematic paradigm of objectivist scholarship that grew out of the worldview of 19th century reductive materialism and presently dominates the humanities.
|School:||University of Pittsburgh|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Literature, American literature, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||American Scholar, Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Pedagogy, Poetic inquiry, Poetry, Soul|
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