I've just had another look at the Latin dictionary -- 'faber' had a
pragmatic sense, meaning 'artisan', 'worker', and 'maker' in some way like
the Elizabethan 'playwright' term. The corresponding Greek term is 'tekton'
which means 'creator', 'artisan', 'maker'. It does not seem to be originally
linked with either poiein or scip (as in Old English).
But here we must separate Dante from Eliot -- Dante did not define poetry in
the modern sense, so Dante's use of the word 'fabbro' is merely pragmatic,
as referred to the ars dictaminis of Arnaut. Eliot might have tried to
exploit the semantic root, though I believe he simply knew what Dante meant
to say, and, since Pound helped him set the rhetoric garment of his poem, he
decided to use the term in the original pragmatic sense.
Also, Eliot worked at Faber & Faber... I've always wondered about that.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Montgomery" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 12:00 AM
Subject: Re: il migliorfabbro
> Does not the greek word poein from which we get the word poetry,
> mean TO MAKE. Fabbro comes from the same root as fabricate.
> I think there's a certain punning going on.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sara Trevisan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 9:27 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Prufrock's smoke and Inferno canto XV
> > While we are on the subject of Italian. could you give me a full
> > of Eliot's dedication of TWL to Ezra Pound. My limited Italian
> > would have one think that Pound was the greater blacksmith.
> In modern Italian, 'fabbro' does mean 'blacksmith'. Yet, Dante used the
> in the Latin sense (< faber, fabri) of 'artisan', 'artificer' -- but not
> 'author', since in Dante's writings that term is derived from 'augeo'
> means 'to increase, to elevate'. Thus, an author 'elevates' the matter he
> deals with. As you know, Eliot got the quotation from Purgatorio, XXVI,
> l.117 -- Dante is talking with Gu
> ido Guinizelli, who points at Arnaut Daniel (famous poet who wrote in the
> trobar clus obscure style), who is close to him, saying that "fu il
> fabbro del parlar materno". 'Parlar materno', according to Dante's ideas,
> was the tongue one would learn from his mother (lingua d'oc, as far as
> Arnaut is concerned), and not through grammatical studies (that is, Latin
> studies). Dante is referring to his own growth as a poet -- he began first
> by imitating trobar leu (the Sicilian poetic school, Guittone d'Arezzo),
> then he passed to the Stilnovistic tradition (with Guinizelli), to the
> petrose' and finally to the imitation of trobar clus (Bertrand de Bohr,
> Sordello, Folchetto and most of all Arnaut Daniel).
> Dante considered Arnaut an artisan of poetry, always looking for new
> expressions, always experimenting with new expressions. Indeed, Arnaut
> love poetry in the Provençal, French and Italian vulgar languages. Eliot
> might have conceived Pound as the artisan of TWL -- although, here's what
> found on the web... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/5626
> Best regards,