Depoeticization of Poetry: A Study of Gertrude Stein’s Poetry in the Light of Maurice Blanchot’s Thought

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language and Literature, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


This essay scrutinizes the poetry of avant-garde American writer, Gertrude Stein. Stein’s conception of poetry differs radically from traditions, particularly, Romanticism. She views poetry as a disembodied voice that speaks of experience of language. There is no connection between the poet and the reader; poetry only weaves words together from and to language. To clarify Stein’s poetics in Stanzas in Meditation, this essay utilizes the thought of contemporary French poststructuralist, Maurice Blanchot, with respect to language, ontology, and death. Stein’s poetry is discussed through three Blanchotian concepts: “naming,” “interruption,” and “remembrance.” Stein sees poetry as naming, in which names become nameless. The language that repeatedly names cannot refer to any idea, person, or situation. So poetry experiences “interruption,” the moment of facing the alien, defamiliarizing “other.” Depoeticization means purging poetry from referring to dominant reality; an untouched poetry that detests readers’ interpretations. The poet does not have any place in this neutral space, because it belongs to language, sounds, repetitions, silences, and words that display their matter on the page.


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