Genre Analysis of Ashbery’s “Sonnet”

Roghayeh Farsi


This study carries out genre analysis of John Ashbery’s poem, “Sonnet”. Swalesian genre analysis gives a systematic scrutiny into the moves a text makes to communicate its intentions to the members of a discourse unity. Investigating the applicability of genre analysis to a literary text and revealing its strong and weak points are the main targets of the paper. The paper casts light on the way Ashbery foregrounds the audience’s expectations molded by four competences: generic, stylistic, rhetoric-linguistic, and pragma-ideological. There is mention of the moves and steps the poet makes to communicate the text’s intention. The experiments “Sonnet” conducts on these competences render it a parody of sonnet and accord it coherence of foregrounding. The paper concludes “Sonnet” develops out of a paradox of communication as it tries to communicate to the audience that communication is, if not impossible, at least a difficult task.



Ashbery, genre analysis, foregrounding, sonnet, competence

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