This chapter explores volition as critical to our experience of a selfhood that defies identity construction. The chapter uses Husserl to suggest the fallacy of associating the contents of consciousness with a description of consciousness. It then investigates poetics of Rachel Zucker and Samuel Coleridge to suggest that critical to poetry’s breed of imaginative process is an implicit volitional contribution of subjectivity. Also useful here is Keats’ notion of “soul-making” as key to the poetic process and, more largely, the path of greater insight and more intimate participation in the nature of the “real.” Dan Beachy-Quick’s poem “Portrait” provides a more contemporary take on what it is to “make” a self and how the metaphor suggests two selves: maker and the made.
KeywordsSelf Volition Husserl Subjectivity Poetry
- Beachy-Quick, Dan. (gentlelessness). North Adams, Massachusetts: Tupelo Press, 2015.Google Scholar
- Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Biographia Literaria or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions. Eds. James Engell and W. Jackson Bate. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (1983).Google Scholar
- Eliot, T. S. “T.S. Eliot ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent,’ 1919.” Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry, 1800–1950. Ed. Melissa Kwasny. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan U, 2004. 260–68. Print.Google Scholar
- Keats, John. “Selected Letters.” Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats. Ed. Jim Pollock. New York: Modern Library, 2001. 502–06. Print.Google Scholar
- Zucker, Rachel. The Self in Poetry: A GNAT (Grossly Non-Academic Talk) with a Weaving Metaphor from Notes on Conceptualisms. Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 09 May 2011. Web. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/self-poetry-gnat-grossly-non-academic-talk-weaving-metaphor