A b s t r a k t
The article is a proposal for opening verse studies to the problem of presence, on the basis of Hans Urlich Gumrecht’s project of a nonhermeneutic humanities. The author presents the limitations of a semantically oriented versology, simultaneously pointing to the possibility of a continuation of formal-structural tradition of studies on verse, following non-semantic threads in the works of Polish theorists: Janusz Sławiński, Lucylla Pszczołowska i Teresa Dobrzyńska. Tomasz Różycki’s poem Panny nieroztropne [Foolish virgins] become an exemplum for the ensuing considerations, while two intuitions of contemporary poets inspire theoretical considerations. One is Eugenio Montale’s perverse thesis on the hopeless semanticity of poetry and Adam Zagajewski’s Nietzschean claim that versologists take care of fire rather than ashes, i.e., investigate living, aesthetically influential verse forms.