Notes on Attridge and Staten: The Craft of Poetry

53 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2016

Date Written: March 18, 2016


In The Craft of Poetry Attridge and Staten propose a method of minimal interpretation that they illustrate through dialog with one another. In minimal reading one dispenses with theory-driven methods and seeks to come as close to a literal interpretation of the poem as possible. Moreover by dialoguing with one another Attridge and Staten force themselves to justify their interpretations in explicit terms. I offer general methodological commentary and comment on their treatment of five poems: William Blake, The Sick Rose; Langston Hughes, Lennox Avenue: Midnight; Emily Dickinson, I started Early; John Milton, To a Solemn Music; and Wilfred Owen, Futility.

Keywords: poetics, interpretation, literary criticism, poetry, hermeneutics

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Notes on Attridge and Staten: The Craft of Poetry (March 18, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics