Jahan Ramazani

Lyric Poetry: Intergeneric, Transnational, Translingual?


Full-length article in: JLT 11/1 (2017), 97–107.

This essay ventures a dozen postulates: 1) lyric can’t be defined by one or even many formal features that are exclusive to it; 2) lyric can be described as a range of nonexclusive formal strategies encoded in texts and the communities that produce and receive them; 3) thus, if we understand »genre« in a way that fuses poetics with hermeneutics, lyric is a genre; 4) lyric and affiliated subgenres and modes live historically but survive transhistorically, albeit often dramatically refashioned; 5) lyric is neither merely personal nor entirely impersonal, making it readily appropriable; 6) lyric differs from more empirical and mimetic genres by virtue of the density of its verbal and formal mediation of the world; 7) lyric is intergeneric, best understood in its dialogue with its others; 8) lyric is transnational; 9) lyric needs to be studied at both the micro and macro levels – both its language-specific intricacies and textures, and its participation in broader patterns of genre, history, and cultural migration; 10) the strategies of a transnational poetics can be extended across languages; 11) a transnational poetics should be attentive to cross-cultural hybridization, creolization, and vernacularization in lyric; 12) lyric isn’t dead, and it isn’t only an elite form.


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Abstract of: Jahan Ramazani, Lyric Poetry: Intergeneric, Transnational, Translingual?

In: JLTonline (16.03.2017)

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