Towards the “Infinite Poem” Reality and the Imagination in the 1950s and 1960s Meta-Poetry of Louis Dudek

By Graham Jensen

University of Saskatchewan

This essay seeks to elucidate the tensions between the necessarily provisional categories of "reality" and "the imagination" in the Canadian poet-critic Louis Dudek's writings of the 1950s and 1960s in general, and...

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Version 1.0 - published on 06 Apr 2021 doi:10.80230/HSS-3P97-DR80 - cite this

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This essay seeks to elucidate the tensions between the necessarily provisional categories of "reality" and "the imagination" in the Canadian poet-critic Louis Dudek's writings of the 1950s and 1960s in general, and in his self-reflexive and increasingly autobiographical poetry in particular. Examining Dudek's meta-poetry (poetry about poetry), it demonstrates how Dudek's earliest self-reflexive poems and privately recorded musings reveal a much more nuanced understanding of the phenomenal world and the imagination's role in poetry than his earliest polemics suggest.

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Original publication information:

Jensen, Graham H. “Towards the ‘Infinite Poem’: Reality and the Imagination in the 1950s and 1960s Meta-Poetry of Louis Dudek.” Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews 70 (2012): 45-76.