While I have much sympathy with Joshua Clover’s kvetch about the frequent appearances of Baudelaire & Hölderlin as synechdoches for “lyric poetry” in the work of twentieth-century philosophers of aesthetics, I can’t help feeling he’s narrowing his own aperture a bit too closely. What about Derrida on Ponge & Celan? Lacoue-Labarthe on Celan? But the problem isn’t so much with the specific figures of Hölderlin & Baudelaire as it is with a narrowed conception of the poetic as lyric, a conception into which Celan indeed fits without much trouble. (The problem, that is, besides the general shelving of poetry as a useful subject for cultural criticism – and even tho JC gives Fredric Jameson an honorable exemption, I can’t recall more than a passing reference or two to any contemporary poetry in Jameson’s work [aside from the silly bit about Perelman we all know].) What would contemporary theoretically-inflected literary criticism look like if, instead of Baudelaire & Hölderlin as models, writers took Apollinaire, Pound, and Loy as exemplary figures? Yes, yes, a hell of a lot more interesting.
And check out Josh Hanson on poetry & praxis: he doesn’t answer the question (& nobody has yet), but he asks it in quite a pertinent manner.