On Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:28:38 -0400, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>The difficulty is in the category of lines from margin to margin that are
called prose poems. But one could easily take many passages from Joyce (I
keep using him because his writing is so musical) and set them off as poems.
I just remembered this piece of Pater edited by Yeats. There are some who
see the "Lady of the Rocks" in TWL as an allusion to Pater.
The Mona Lisa and the Symbol of Ideas:
Pater's Leda as Mother to Yeats's Helen
by MARK JEFFREYS
She is older than the rocks among which she sits;
Like the vampire,
She has been dead many times,
And learned the secrets of the grave;
And has been a diver in deep seas,
And keeps their fallen day about her;
And trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants:
And, as Leda,
Was the mother of Helen of Troy,
And, as Saint Anne,
The mother of Mary;
And all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes,
Only in the delicacy
With which it has moulded the changing lineaments,
And tinged the eyelids and hands.
THIS POEM, the first in the 1936 Oxford Book of Modern Verse was originally
a single sentence of Walter Pater's prose, relineated as free-verse lyric by
the anthology's editor, W. B. Yeats. Yeats lifted the sentence from Pater's
famous homage to the Mona Lisa in the da Vinci essay of The Renaissance, and
its curious placement at the head of a collection of modern poetry suggests
that it either anticipated or introduced some essential quality that for
Yeats distinguished modernity in verse. Appropriately, in his introductory
essay to the Oxford anthology, Yeats claimed for the passage a
"revolutionary importance" (OBMV viii).
The purpose of this essay is to argue that the "revolutionary importance"
of Pater's sentence was not due to its influence on modern poetry in
general, as Yeats claimed, but to its influence on Yeats's own conception
and use of the symbol in his poetry and poetics.
More at Colby Quarterly, Volume 29, no.1, March 1993, p.20-32 or