Since my reply to this seemed to evoke confusion, I am replying again.
"Most great Medieval thinkers" is so vast a set that I do not think any valid
claim can possibly be made about them.  Is this early and late Medieval?
All countries?  Mystics and all others?  Chaucer?  My point is that
humans vary immensely in their ideas in all times and places.


Priority:               normal
Date sent:              Thu, 3 Apr 2003 17:43:32 -0500
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   "Nancy Gish - Women's Studies" <[log in to unmask]>
Organization:           University of Southern Maine
Subject:                Re: Prufrock's "smoke"
To:                     [log in to unmask]

I don't  think you can make that generalization.  Mystics used it
that way.  It doesn't mean sex was not sex in any context.  Think
of Chaucer.

On 3 Apr 2003, at 16:07, [log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

In a message dated 4/2/03 3:20:46 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

     Even if Dante used sex only as a literary device to describe
     the immediate nature of the devine (which I don't agree with,
     for what that's worth), surely the Symbolists saw it not only
     as a symbol, but as a vital part of life

Dante was of a Medieval mind.  To most great Medieval thinkers,
sex _was_ a metaphor for unity with God.  That's why there are so
many lovely auld sermons on the Song of Songs.