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Sounding Ends and Endings: Non-Closure in Modern and Contemporary Poetry


This article examines the ends of lyric poetry in the teleological sense (il fine) by investigating the end (la fine) of certain poems—the textual endings and instances of closure (or lack thereof), i.e., the final strophe, the final verse. In particular, it analyzes some exemplary instances of non-closure in modern and contemporary (mostly Italian) poetry. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben and Timothy Bahti, it explores a peculiar form of non-closure, namely, endings of poems that, by means of self-reflexivity, repetition, and chiastic structures, re-direct the text and its reader back towards its beginning, toward a new reading.


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