Dunja Seselja wrote:
> But is it the other way around? What I am
> asking is, can an interpretation be something
> nonverbal? There are two possible cases of such an
> experience (as far as I can see):
> 1) experience as a state of mind/emotions which isn't
> expressed in any way (we read a poem, experience it,
> feel something, and that's it);
> 2) experience which is being expressed in some "arty"
> nonverbal way.
> Can we call 1) and/or 2) interpretations?
I'm not sure I follow here, but let me try an oblique approach, which
may or may not respond usefully to your question.
Here's Pound channeling John Adams:
must dig with my fingers
as nobody will lend me or sell me a pick axe.
Exercises my lungs, revives my spirits opens my pores
reading Tully on Cataline quickens my circulation
Wind over the olive trees, ranunculae ordered,
By the clear edge of the rocks
The water runs, and the wind scented with pine
And with hay-fields under sun-swath.
Agostino, Jacopo and Boccata.
You would be happy for the smell of that place
And never tired of being there, either alone
Sound: as of the nightingale too far off to be heard.
Sandro and Boccata, and Jacopo Sellaio;
The ranunculae, and almond . . . .
And a few lines later, same Canot:
Air moving under the boughs,
The cedars there in the sun,
Hay new cut on hill slope,
And the water there in the cut
Between the two lower meadows; sound,
the sound, as I have said, a nightingale
Too far off to be heard.
And the light falls, remir,
from her breasts to thighs.
Reading those lines I think I know what Adams was talking about. And
also what Pound was talking about in one of the late Cantos: "Not gin
in cut glass has such clarity." Quoted from memory, so I can't give the
Canto number or swear to the accuracy of my quotation. One only needs to
read the Cantos enough times and passages such as these begin to leap
out at one. Page after page that, as Adams says, "quickens my
When Adams speaks of digging with his fingers he is referring to his
work trying to understand the history of English law, but _also_
(Pound's point in joinging that with the refernce to Cicero) Latin
orations do not invigorate anyone's circulation who has not spent some
years of his youth digging away to be able to read them in the original
Latin. And the lines from Canto 19 revolve around a man who had spent a
lifetime trying to make sense of some obscure passages in Provencal
The Cantos among other things are about the amount of digging
(interpretation and more interpretation) it takes to reach down to the
beauty (which I guess is what Peter means when he jabbers about
"experience" though he never takes much pains to explain himself).
Hence also the digression that allows Pound to pay some homage to one
who has not enough time left to do the necessary digging:
La Beaute', "Beauty is difficult, Yeats" said Aubrey Beardsley
when Yeats asked why he drew horrors
or at least not Burne-Jones
and Beardsley knew he was dying and had to
make his hit quickly
hence no more B-J in his product.
So very difficult, Yeats, beauty is so difficult.
One actually has to spend a lot of time trying to interpret the Cantos
before (behind one's back as it were) the metrical mastery (from which
stems, probably, the power to invigorate the circulation) begins to make
itself felt. No digging, no experience at more exciting levels.
So yes, interpretation and "experience" are linked at some point (or,
the relations are internal, not external), but I suspect the
"experience" remains pretty whimsical, unless one concentrates not on it
but on the meaning of what one is reading.