Marcia, I wish I could have been clearer about my understanding of intuition's role in poetry. I've been influenced by many commentators on the subject, as well as by my own experiences as a painter and poet. You may want to look at some of the literature on the subject, if you haven't already:

Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry by Maritain, Jacques, 1882-1973. [pub. c1953] In addition, many books and articles have been written about Maritain's ideas.

And also, an appreciation of the intuitive element involved in reading and writing poetry is described by William Empson in his Seven Types of Ambiguity. Empson was an infamous sorehead and crank, who attacked pedantry and an overly rational approach to poetry, to wit:

From Wikipedia: "Empson's distaste for New Criticism could manifest itself in his distinctive dismissive and brusque wit as when he describes New Criticism, ironically referring to it as "the new rigour", as a "campaign to make poetry as dull as possible."

Cheers, Diana

From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Here is no prophet and no great matter
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 17:05:41 -0500

Thanks, Diana, for greatly clarifying things. 

I see those things differently than you do, but now I understand what you are saying, and am glad for that.


Diana Manister wrote:
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Peter and Marcia,

We'll never know exactly how Eliot pictured his audience, but my admittedly exaggerated assertion that he could anticipate their every association to his verbal figures was based on the likelihood that he was addressing a cultured and/or educated gentry, in short, an elite who shared similar experiences, privileges and prejudices in England at that time. Certainly when the work is read in a later historical period and in a different country with a less rigid class system, those associations will broaden beyond what Eliot could anticipate. Abstract art probably does not suffer the same contingency -- a Rothko painting will likely communicate the same contemplative feeling-tone in more circumstances than an artwork fashionned from words, whose meanings change more swiftly than the significations of colors do. (Pop art I think will change meaning in different contexts -- a Jaspar Johns American flag or a silk-screen of Marilyn Monroe say.)

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