On 1/11/2012 10:24 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
> I think you are omitting a long history of woman as intrinsically
> tempress and as one who distracts man from what is higher and greater.
> The very fact that she has no name but is generic is part of the point.
> Yes, it is a (possible) monk tempted by a (generic) "girl."
> Have you read any of the /Malleus Maleficarum/ on women? It is an iconic
> image. The point is that all ordinary women are, by nature, temptresses.
> This is not, seriously, anything I would make up.
> Moreover, she follows him and is compared to a "hungry light." She is
> not a woman he recalls and for whom he suffers longing; she is what
> prevents his fulfillment in stone or cell because she runs after him.
> So, yes, it represents the generic "girl" as the temptress--of long,
> long historical imagery--who gets between the male and god.
> The language is pretty precise: "I ran from you"; "as from a hungry
> light"; "and you, you come." She just won't let up.
> If this image were not so constant and familiar through history, one
> might read it as mainly about the speaker's longing, but it is a convention.
Skelton did have to say this about Dyment's poem:
Whether this poem has or has not the same effect upon other readers must
be decided by those readers; I would suspect that the experience is not
completely universal. Obviously purely personal factors must affect the
reader's reaction to any poem; his own experience or environment may or
may not put him in a position fully to experience a given poem.
> And I still don't know what it's doing on this list.
CR might have written something like this in his initial post:
I've been looking at a couple of sections (each just a few pages long)
of Robin Skelton's book "The Poetic Pattern": "The Transcending of Time"
(pp. 78-80) and "Poetic Truth and 'Saint Augustine at Thirty-two'" (pp.
80-84). In the first there is a brief discussion of timelessness (a TSE
topic for sure) in poetry and mentions of the "still point" (TSE again)
and two excerpts of 4Q (by TSE). In the second two versions of a poem
by Clifford Dyment are discussed, the first of which instills the
"still point" in the poet and critic alike but is changed by wording
in the second version so the "music of poetry" (a TSE topic) is
reduced. Skelton explains how.
Keep in mind Skelton's earlier quoting of Eliot's "Words, after speech,
reach / Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern, / Can words or
music reach / The stillness ..."
CR could have then (as I'm doing now) put in a request for comments on
how wording changes between drafts and final versions of Eliot poems
show the music of poetry.
In my post of Jan 3, "Translations of Chanson from Anabase by Saint-John
Perse" there is also a chance to discuss wording and the music of poetry
as we have three translations of Perse's "Chanson." The book that one
comes from, as I mentioned, criticizes Eliot translation of Perse
(poetry, criticism and Eliot seeming to make up a topic of discussion.)
The poem and translations can be seen together at