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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 8, 2008

Phenomenology and Literature

Kevin Hart
Pages 219-239

“it / is true”

Following a hint from Edmund Husserl, this paper explores the proximity of the phenomenological and aesthetic gazes. It does so with one particular poem in mind: “September Song” by Geoffrey Hill. The paper examines the ways in which the poem responds to a given situation, the death of a child in the Shoah, and responds to the ethical status of its own aesthetic gaze. Phenomenological perspectives by Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Derrida, and Marion, are brought to bear on the questions considered, and comparisons are made between Hill’s poem and similar poems by Dylan Thomas, Paul Celan, and W. S. Merwin.