Over the weekend, we took a break from elections prep here in Grand Fenwick (Bon-Bon & Baldwin are running for the Peat Lorry Administrator post, a very important office, since we heat with peat, and since the Peat Lorryist gets to drive the lorry), I say we took an hiatoose from all that, this weekend, to read the "Poetry, Theories Of" entry in the Princeton Enbicyclopedia of Poetry.
It's not that long, & it even makes some sense.
The author divides theories into 4 categories:
1. mimetic (poetry is mirror or representation of real or ideal things)
2. pragmatic (Horace's tradition : poetry is artful speech directed at an audience to please, primarily; sometimes to instruct)
3. expressive (came to the fore with Romantics : poetry expresses the emotions and inner character of the poet)
4. objective (came to the fore with Moderns & New Critics, especially : poetry is autotelic, a separate autonomous creation with its own set of laws, created for its own sake).
She or he (don't know the author of this entry) also covers postmodern (deconstructive) developments, & nods at recurrent notions that theory is unnecessary & perhaps inimical to poetry.
The layout of this article gives you a sense of the variety of & wide spaces between all the critical approaches & expectations.
Also listened to Memphis Jug Band & Noah Lewis' harmonica playing. I am going to have to learn the instrument all over again.