Ken Armstrong ([log in to unmask]) wrote the following on Wed, Apr 07, 2010 at 05:49:00PM -0400:
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> >One might add that "living a religion"--whatever that may mean for
> >Christians, since we all know many profess and pronounce while acting
> >in ways that would presumably appall Jesus--is not a requirement for
> >understanding, experiencing, or fully appreciating poetry.
> I don't myself know that that is true or untrue. How do you know
> that to "fully appreciate" poetry does not require "living a religion"?
> The circuitry of that sentence is one whose wiring I'd like to see
> revealed. Not because I believe the opposite to be true; I don't. But
> I'm interested to know the underpinning of such a statement, if there is
> any. How, specifically, can you tell when someone is fully appreciating
Isn't the point precisely that setting up ANY arbitrary condition for fully appreciating poetry is a fool's
errand? Of course, it MIGHT be the case that it IS necessary to "live a religion" to "fully appreciate
poetry"; it might equally be that it is necessary to be of German descent and to have been born on a Thursday
and to have a name that begins with "F". But, you know, that's probably not the case. And so, absent any real
*evidence* for any claimed requirement for fully appreciating poetry, it's fair to assume the invalidity of
such a claim.
Of course, it should be no surprise that those who believe in an imaginary deity, absent all evidence to the
contrary, also seem to believe in an imaginary standard for reading Eliot... and it's probably as futile to
argue either case.