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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Jack London’s failure as a poet, defined by esthetic or marketable criteria, is not an argument for ignoring his poetry. The mere fact of his including his poems in his essays and stories indicates that poetry was an integral aspect of his creativity and hence must be considered in an evaluation of his work as a whole. This essay provides an overview and classificatory system for better understanding his poetic output, especially in relation to the rest of his work. Given the difficulty of demonstrating that London was a poet who also reluctantly wrote prose, it is perhaps more accurate to call him a prose writer who for various reasons wrote poetry. A way to recuperate the view that he had a poetic instinct is to consider him the third kind of poet, in the larger etymological sense of the Greek poietes, “one who makes” or “creates.”

Keywords: poetry, aesthetics, fiction, drama, Robert Browning, Romantics

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