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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.72 pp.17-38

The Formal Dynamics of Nostalgia: A Comparative Study of Agha Shahid Ali and Paul Muldoon

Yeonmin Kim


Form arises from the interplay between text and context and cannot be reduced to either of them. It serves as a mediator between the two. Form is not merely a by-product of a text but is subject to social conventions as found in the case of elegy. Simultaneously, form maintains its autonomous structural patterns regardless of the social context. The formal dynamics will serve as the congruity that provides the foundational premise of my comparative approach to Ali and Muldoon. I will argue that both poets employ the dynamics of traditional form, based on historical specificities and structural autonomy, to construct their worlds of nostalgia when their native countries suffer from postcolonial atrocities. The poets find themselves in the context of displacement as exiles, expressing their nostalgic yearnings through the following poetic forms: ghazal, sonnet, sestina, and villanelle.





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