Very Similar Unique Ideas

I will be honest and say that most of this reading went completely over my head. Maybe I was just tired and therefore incapable of comprehending what it was that I was reading, or maybe I could be wide awake and still not understand what was going on. In any case, I think that at one point Adorno was saying that the universality of poetry comes from writing about something that has not already been written.

This relates to Shelley in that Shelley believed the very inception of poetry in one’s mind was where the real poetry was. So Adorno (from my understanding) believes that poetry’s universality comes from something written for the first time, so it therefore applies to everyone since there is nothing out there like that particular poem yet; and Shelley believes poetry is the initial original thought, and once it’s written it is less poetic. They both seem to think that as long as the poem is truly original and unique, then it is true poetry. (But I could be totally wrong.)

Since both their ideas seem so similar to each other…would their ideas count as poetry? Or would only whoever wrote their idea of poetry down first be considered the poet?


Adorno, Theodor W. “On Lyric Poetry and Society.” Notes to Literature. Ed. Rolf Tiedemann. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991. 46. Print.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “A Defence of Poetry” The Critical Tradition. Ed. David Richter. New York: Bedford/St. Martin, 2007. 358. Print.