chapter  6
‘Love stories’: cognitive scenarios in love poetry
Cognitive scenarios in love poetry Editors’ preface
ByGerard Steen
Pages 16

This chapter by Gerard Steen explores the nature of the knowledge structures needed by readers during their interpretation of love poetry in its numerous textual forms. Steen examines a range of text types, from canonical verse by poets such as William Shakespeare, Robert Graves and A.E. Housman, to the lyrics of contemporary rock and pop love songs. Some of these examples have a narrative structure, while others can be classified as argumentative or descriptive. In all cases, Steen argues, readers must activate dynamic cognitive structures, known as ‘scenarios’, in order to make sense of the text at hand. You may find is useful to read this chapter alongside Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr’s discussion of prototypes in Chapter 3, and Peter Crisp’s analysis of conceptual metaphors in Chapter 8.