Face to Face: Place and Poetry

Martin Harrison


Abstract

This paper focuses specifically on three poems: ‘The Driver’, ‘The Slope’ and ‘Incident at Galore Hill’ and the relationship between poetry and place. In trying to prepare the ground for a philosophy which can deal with what he terms the ‘phenomenal field’, Merleau- Ponty spends a number of pages early in The Phenomenology of Perception clarifying what he sees as the limits and traps of several narrowly psychological approaches to perception. Such psychologies set up the observed world as a transcendent domain which maps consciousness as if it were somehow separated out from the world, as if, to employ his phrase, there are two different ‘modes’ of being. In this paper I explore the relations between inside and outside and the perceiver and the perceived as well sensory experience in relation to poetry, in conjuction with discussions of Merleau-Ponty's philosophies.

Keywords

Merleau-Ponty; poetry; space; perception; 'The Driver'; 'The Slope'; 'Incident at Galore Hill'

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