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Exile and Belonging in Douglas Dunn’s Political Poetry

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Title: Exile and Belonging in Douglas Dunn’s Political Poetry
Authors: Twiddy, Iain Browse this author
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2010
Publisher: 北海道大学大学院メディア・コミュニケーション研究院
Journal Title: メディア・コミュニケーション研究
Journal Title(alt): Media and Communication Studies
Volume: 59
Start Page: 103
End Page: 121
Abstract: For over thirty years, Douglas Dunn's poetry has been consistently concerned with the notion of belonging. Dunn's multilayered loyalties involve class, country and the craft of poetry, as well as a commitment to the rural. Yet as he explores the nature and possible loss of the vision of "ideal communities", Dunn is keenly aware of how allegiances may involve pastoral thinking. If pastoral generically inscribes an unequal system, wherein the urban poet represents an ideal social system, or writes inaccurately about the rural, be it harmonious or primitive,reclaiming the form is a political act. The aim of Douglas Dunn's political pastoral is to disillusion the pastoral form, to contract its constitutional distance or overcome its intrinsic alienation. Dunn continually revises the nature and function of pastoral, and describes the complexity of his own problematic relationship to the form: he describes the failure of urban pastoral in Terry Street, contests the idea of poetry as a pastoral form in Barbarians, and assesses the use of provincial and national pastoral in Northlight and The Year's Afternoon, aiming to create poetry which plays a vital role in celebrating the Scottish landscape, but which is nonetheless fully connected with universal subjects. The repeated image of the house figures his conception of moderate pastoral, one that offers an empowered and reasonable vision of poetic, geographical and political belonging.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:メディア・コミュニケーション研究 = Media and Communication Studies > 59

Submitter: Iain Twiddy

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