Inventiveity And Morality In Eagleton's How To Read A Poem

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In How to Read a Poem, Eagleton gives the following definition of a poem: ‘A poem is a fictional, verbally inventive moral statement, in which it is the author who decides where the lines should end’. In this definition, the main matters are ‘fictional’, ‘verbal inventiveness’ and ‘morality’. How to Read a Poem gives many explanations and examples of these matters that are discussed in his definition. Fiction, morality and verbal inventiveness all work together to help the author decide where the lines should end. Eagleton’s definition includes the aspect of poetry being fictional. Fiction is literature that does not have authenticity and is fictitious. The definition he gives, states that a poem must be from a figment of one’s imagination. The fabricated content of poetry is not what is important. The important part of poetry being fictional, is that it still has moral truth. Eagleton’s definition suggests that the poem does not have to be non-fiction to still be true about life or the values, significance and purposes of humans. Eagleton states, a poem that is fictional not only means that it is imaginary, but also that the experience in which the poem is about can be understood in many ways. The meaning of a poem can not be determined by the poem itself, due to the fact that the context of the poem does not have an original context to compare the meaning too. Since the context does not have factual truth, each reader that reads it will have a different interpretation

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