Philosophy as Verse-Performance: five poems and a formalist prospectus


  • Christopher Norris Cardiff University



formalism, meter, literary theory, Mallarmé, modernism, poetics, poetry, post-structuralism, rhyme, Wittgenstein


This article consists of five poems and an introductory essay. The poems are intended on the one hand to make a case for the currently underrated virtues of poetic formalism, i.e., for the revival of rhyme and meter as aspects of poetic practice. On the other they argue for a distinctly philosophical mode of poetry that embraces the values of conceptual or rational discourse as against a romantic-modernist conception premised on the intrinsic superiority of lyric, metaphor, symbol, analogy, and suchlike touchstone values. These issues are laid out programmatically in the opening essay and developed in a more performative as well as formal way in the five poems. 

Author Biography

Christopher Norris, Cardiff University

Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff, Wales. He has written more than thirty books on aspects of philosophy and literary theory, among them (most recently) Re-Thinking the Cogito: naturalism, reason and the venture of thought; Derrida, Badiou and the Formal Imperative; and Philosophy Outside-In: a critique of academic reason. His volume of verse-essays The Cardinal’s Dog and Other Poems appeared in 2013 and two further collections, For the Tempus-Fugitives (Sussex Academic Press) and The Winnowing Fan (Bloomsbury) will be published later this year.


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How to Cite

Norris, Christopher. 2017. “Philosophy As Verse-Performance: Five Poems and a Formalist Prospectus”. Performance Philosophy 2 (2):342-61.