a befitting emblem of absolutist poetry
 
Saturn via NASA's Cassina rover (NASA)
 
a picture of Saturn from NASA
 
arbitrarily,
 CR
 

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 9:55 PM
Subject: Absolutist Poetry ( was Re: 'The Waste Land'...)

Incidentally,
 
Hart Crane: The "Logic of Metaphor"
 
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
 
As with Eliot's "objective correlative," a certain vocabulary haunts Crane criticism, his "logic of metaphor" being perhaps the most vexed. His most quoted formulation is in the circulated, if long unpublished, "General Aims and Theories": "As to technical considerations: the motivation of the poem must be derived from the implicit emotional dynamics of the materials used, and the terms of expression employed are often selected less for their logical (literal) significance than for their associational meanings. Via this and their metaphorical inter-relationships, the entire construction of the poem is raised on the organic principle of a 'logic of metaphor,' which antedates our so-called pure logic, and which is the genetic basis of all speech, hence consciousness and thought-extension.[8] 
 
There is also some mention of it, though it is not so much presented as a critical neologism, in his letter to Harriet Monroe: "The logic of metaphor is so organically entrenched in pure sensibility that it can't be thoroughly traced or explain outside of historical sciences, like philology and anthropology."[9] L. S. Dembo's influential study of The Bridge, Hart Crane's Sanskrit Charge (1960), reads this 'logic' well within the familiar rhetoric of the Romantics: "The Logic of metaphor was simply the written form of the 'bright logic' of the imagination, the crucial sign stated, the Word made words.... As practiced, the logic of metaphor theory is reducible to a fairly simple linguistic principle: the symbolized meaning of an image takes precedence over its literal meaning; regardless of whether the vehicle of an image makes sense, the reader is expected to grasp its tenor.[10]
 
 
-----
 
"the Word made words" -- wow! -- interesting!
 
CR


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: OT: was Re: 'The Waste Land' - a recitation (was Re: vis-a-vis 'Four Quartets'): a PS

Incidentally,
 
Hart Crane: the "absolutist" in poetry
 
 
illuminating
 
CR


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: OT: was Re: 'The Waste Land' - a recitation (was Re: vis-a-vis 'Four Quartets'): a PS

Thanks for raising this point, Rick. Two things instantly come to my mind in response to it.
 
1.  I for one have always taken Eliot's injunction about the the need to assert the 'absolute' meaning of a poem (any poem, Eliot's or anyone else's) as a general directive to the reader. FWIW, I've always taken it in that spirit in my readings of poetry. Eliot's poetry, more especially. 
 
2. Eliot also wrote -- it was quoted at this forum, I don't have the source at hand -- that a poet's reading of his/her poem is only one of the readings. Another reading of the poem may be as valid and, sometimes, may even be better.
 
As for Eliot's opinion of TWL, certainly there is a personal character to the poem. As for the 'absolute', the poem does view his experience in that light. I have not so far come upon a single statement of Eliot that denies viewing his experience vis-a-vis the 'absolute'. In the course of critical scholarship too, the poem has been read in that light. IMHO, The Waste Land, as much as any other poem of Eliot, is quite amenable to an absolutist reading. 
 
Thanks.
  CR
  

From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: OT: was Re: 'The Waste Land' - a recitation (was Re: vis-a-vis 'Four Quartets'): a PS

On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 03:59:59 -0700, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Eliot once explained (to Philip Mairet, 31 October, 1956; the Collection of
Violet Welton) that, even if a poem meant different things to different
readers, it was still necessary to assert its 'absolute' meaning. (Peter
Ackroyd, 'T.S. Eliot: A Life', p. 271)


Taken from the book's  blurb:

  A major reinterpretation, __T.S. Eliot's Personal Waste Land: Exorcism
  of the Demons__ takes Eliot at his word in his reiterated statements
  that The Waste Land was not a "criticism of the contemporary world"
  but a personal "grouse against life."

Is that an assertion?


Regards,
    Rick Parker