Well if we are going to get into the area of the mystics, one of my favourite, I would truly appreciate help in finding a text which has elluded me for some time. Perhaps it was the author of THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING or possibly, but I don't thnk so, Julian of Norwich, who had an extensive and very beautiful meditation on God as mother. I read it long, long ago when I was very much in a mystical mode, and have since, not been able to retrieve it. Thanks, Peter -----Original Message----- From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 8:07 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Poets on poetry Dear Richard and all, Interestingly, Denise Levertov, like Eliot, became increasingly religious and even orthodox in later life. She joined the Catholic Church largely because of the liberation theology that challenged our political policies in Central America and because of people like Archbishop Romero and Dorothy Day, but she seemed to have increasingly found in Christianity a form of what I think Richard means by "mythic" that allowed for a better way of living in the world. Her religious poems of the 80s, especially, increasingly define a way to see body and spirit as fused in Jesus, Mary, and-- interestingly--Julian of Norwich. Nancy Date sent: Mon, 8 Dec 2003 07:53:46 -0700 Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]> From: Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Poets on poetry To: [log in to unmask] Peter Now wait just a minute. Where in the preceding discussions, until you raised your head and thought it getting curiouser and curiouser, did any one make any value judgments about any other's understanding of the human condition? Perhaps you are referring to my comment about not riding in a flying machine derived from unverified science. Flying carpets, which I would ride on, are part of a mythic world view and not a pseudo-scientific one. Your basket of grade four thinkers would have to include Freud, Jung, Kerenyi, Kroeber, Malinowski, Robert Duncan, T. S. Eliot, Robinson Jeffers, Charles Olson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Karl Popper, Bradley, Nietzsche, Plato and the list goes on. Many have tried to understand the difference between mythic societies and their own version of "modern" society. I am specifically trying to understand it in terms of the 40's and 50's California poets and the poets of the Black Mountain school: Duncan, Jeffers, Creeley, Spicer, Olson, Levertov, Ginsberg, Snyder and others. These poets were serious critics of their modern western society. They were all heavily influenced by TSE, Pound, Joyce and Yeats. In at least one case, Duncan, they suffered severe discrimination at the hands of modern western culture. Jeffers became so disgusted with western society that he completely rejected a man centered world view and came up with his "Inhumanism". All of these poets reacted strongly to what they conceived of as faults inherent in western society's rejection of myth. Understanding myth as opposed to western societies is crucial to understanding them. Somehow you have turned the discussion from how people immersed in a mythic world view their world into a value filled discussion and then used the turn to hurl semi-hidden knives. If a person's serious thinking is always going to raise disdain and approbation from the list how can serious learning take place. If you have serious problems with what I was writing please tell me. If you are going to change what I am saying into something you can attack please don't. If you don't understand, ask questions until you do. If you know nothing about the subject then perhaps you can join me in learning about it. If you find it completely lacking in intellectual merit then I would appreciate being informed, privately if possible, of your professional opinion. BTW: I would recommend that you read "Ulysses, Order, and Myth". I think you will find little about Myth and much about a new way to structure a literary work using myth. Your quote from Eliot does not support your preceding argument as your use would suggest. Rick Seddon McIntosh, NM Peter wrote The tendency to think we can learn anything about the validity of someone's understanding of the human condition, by reducing that someone's working system to its bare knuckle implications, and then say it is wrong, inadequate, misguided or whatever, is worthy of about Grade Four thinking and little more. What is important for our discussion is the role of the mythic method as Eliot identified it, in helping us to come to terms with the chaos of the modern vortex, which, because our technology is driven into a frenzy of change by its core dynamic of electricity moving at the speed of light, is causing our ordinary perceptual modes to become completely disoriented. from Eliot, T.S. "Ulysses, Order, and Myth" Dial 75.5 (November 1923):201. Myth is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immence panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.