“We Have Poetry / So We Do Nor Die of History” On the Interplay Between Poetry, Science, and Ideology

Abstract

Important as they are in people’s mental and intellectual development and in their appreciation of the things around them, the Humanities remain a field that is, more often than not, frowned upon among people who firmly believe that the STEM fields are much more important, practical, and lucrative in a rapidly growing and competitive workplace. Besides, when scientific and technological breakthroughs have invaded every nook and cranny of our lives, the incessant comparison between science and the arts does not, and actually should not strike us as new or even shocking. The present paper seeks to revisit the status of the Humanities nowadays, by shedding light on the crisis befalling this field (inter)nationally. The paper also aims at providing a reappraisal of the moment of poetry—one that substantiates Poet Meena Alexander’s famous line, “We have poetry / So we do not die of history.” This is achieved through readings of Sylvia Plath’s so-called hospital poems that highlight the deft interplay between poetry, science and ideology.

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