According to the so-called Heresy of Paraphrase (HP), poetry cannot be paraphrased or translated. Ernie Lepore (2009) tries to reconcile (HP) with the Principle of Semantic Innocence, according to which an (unambiguous) word has the same meaning across every context in which it can occur. Lepore’s solutions consists in assuming that poems are in some sense analogous to quotations. It is an interesting proposal, which allows to account for many important aspects of poetry. However, it leaves aside many constitutive features of poetic texts. I shall argue that many characteristic traits of poetry (which are also relevant for the problem of paraphrase) are more likely to be pragmatic in nature, and are in some sense analogous to conversational implicatures, according to the analysis by Paul Grice.
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