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Daylights Essay

Rosanna Warren
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Semansky has published widely in the field of twentieth-century poetry and culture. In the following essay, he considers the inter-textuality of "Daylights."

"Daylights" is a poem about another poem. When poems directly or indirectly reference other poems, they participate in what literary theorists call inter-textuality. Simply put, inter-textuality refers to the ways in which a piece of writing is involved with other pieces of writing, whether openly or covertly.

At the simplest level, "Daylights" alludes to another poem, Stéphane Mallarmé's "L'Azur," written in 1864. "L'Azur," which refers to the blue sky, is written in French and is a dramatic lyric consisting of nine quatrains. Here is the first stanza, translated:

The everlasting Azure's tranquil irony
Depresses, like the flowers indolently fair,
The powerless poet who damns his superiority
Across a sterile wilderness of aching despair.


For Mallarmé, the blue sky is a ubiquitous reminder...

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This section contains 1,263 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Daylights Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Daylights from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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