This essay argues that “language poetry,” usually taken to be a North American invention, with debts to the objectivists, the Black Mountain school, and New York poetry, also carries on the tradition of two seemingly unrelated non-U.S. movements: concretism and Oulipo. In Charles Bernstein's 2005 libretto for Brian Ferneyhough's opera “about” Walter Benjamin, Shadowtime, visual poetics, Oulipo constraint, and citation from Benjamin's own writings come together to produce a playful but also profound “poem including history” (Pound 1954: 86) for our current moment. At once homage and critique, documentary and fantasy, Shadowtime points the way for a digital poetics—a poetics that takes into account the information glut and déjà dit of the twenty-first century and demonstrates what appropriation, framing, and recycling can accomplish.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| December 01 2009
Constraint, Concrete, Citation: Refiguring History in Charles Bernstein's Shadowtime
Poetics Today (2009) 30 (4): 693–717.
Marjorie Perloff; Constraint, Concrete, Citation: Refiguring History in Charles Bernstein's Shadowtime. Poetics Today 1 December 2009; 30 (4): 693–717. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2009-010
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign In
Citing articles via
Introduction to Charles Bernstein's Distinguished Wenqin Yao Lectures at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Fall 2019
“Nothing tires a vision more than sundry attacks / in the manner of enclosure”: An Afterword to Angriff der Schwierigen Gedichte