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Don Paterson$
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Ben Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2022

Print ISBN-13: 9781800855373

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781800855373.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

None of this Matters: Rain (2009)

None of this Matters: Rain (2009)

(p.95) 6 None of this Matters: Rain (2009)
Don Paterson

Ben Wilkinson

Liverpool University Press

In presenting Paterson’s sixth collection, Rain, this chapter identifies an intensification of the poet’s considerable formal ambitions. It argues that Paterson’s increased preference for metred and end-rhymed forms, combined with a pared-back diction and clarity, not only reveal an attempt to speak with greater directness, but to expose false divisions between order and disorder, form and formlessness, within poems whose stylistic qualities and thematic concerns co-exist in unusually productive tension. This is illustrated in relation to the book’s central themes: ‘the human trope’, an extension of Paterson’s concept of the human dream; and the idea that poetry itself is an always elegiac project, in which crafted language pursues clarity and permanence as a momentary stay against confusion. The chapter concludes that Paterson is a poet who is especially adept at making the poem a site for highly memorable new meaning-making: the truest realisation of poetry as a mode of knowledge.

Keywords:   Rain, poetic form, formalism, poetic trope, the human dream, elegy, memorability, poetry as knowledge

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