Bakhtin's endorsement of literary prose—especially Dostoevsky's—on the grounds of its polyphony and his concomitant critique of poetry on the grounds of its allegedly monologic character have become commonplace in Bakhtin criticism. In this article, I reexamine this view of the respective significance of poetry and prose in Bakhtin's oeuvre. In particular, I argue that far from being relegated to the realm of discursive and, by extension, sociopolitical monologicity, poetry may plausibly be construed as the dialogically and sociopolitically exemplary mode of discourse in Bakhtin's writings.

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