the correlative of a correlative -- a gesticulating orangutan 

"Made this unknowing, half conscious, unknown, my own." 

"Not the cicada 
 And dry grass singing 
 But sound of water over a rock 
 Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees 
 Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop"


 From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2012 8:56 PM
Subject: Re: Objective Correlative in Eliot's Poetry (was Re: OT - Chapel Perilous)

Curious how o.c. had more of a life as something to 
be analysed, then as a device for analysis. It was a concept
that never quite took off, but something like the 
elephant coming in for a landing at Frankfurt airport, sort of 
its ears very brashly in the wind and somewhat 
bounced along upon its grceful impact (if you've seen that 
The gracefully bouncing elephant is my objective correlative for the objective 
Nez perse?
----- Original Message ----- 
>From: Ken  Armstrong 
>To: [log in to unmask] 
>Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 6:57 
>Subject: Re: Objective Correlative in  Eliot's Poetry (was Re: OT - Chapel Perilous)
>Now that you mention it, I 
  do vaguely recollect an attempted felony upbraiding by one of the usual 
  suspects, which I generally try to ignore (avoiding my civic duty, I guess). I 
  posed the question here (perhaps too briefly from my ipod) because I 
  assumed you had a specific purpose/meaning in mind for making  the assertion and because I don't think I had thought of or heard of an  everyday use of "objective correlative" outside of its connection with  TSE.
>For Eliot I think it was something highly specific and informed by 
  his philosophic studies, particularly of F. H. Bradley. When Peter said we are 
  maybe creeping toward the objective correlative, beastly-Yeats-like, I guess, 
  I assumed he meant in Eliot's use of the term. With no upbraiding intended, I 
  don't see what it gains us to use it as a synonym for symbol or metaphor, 
  which already signify much more than their literal meaning. 
>Apart from 
  that, occasionally here some one or other offers that 'objective correlative' 
  is a useless term, which I think is perfectly true if it is conceived in a 
  useless way. However, I think it had a legitimate life and utility and a depth 
  of meaning for Eliot when he brought it forth and that it can still be 
  employed fruitfully by anyone wanting to understand the problems that Eliot 
  was trying to understand, whether with Hamlet or in poetry generally. Eliot's 
  late remarks on feeling in the Concord address that Rickard posted a few days 
  ago are perhaps a continuing indicator of the primacy of feeling in his view 
  of poetry. 
>Ken A
>On 5/2/2012 6:56 PM, Chokh Raj wrote: 
>>To me Eliot's poetry is replete with  'objective correlatives', i.e. with concrete images that signify much more  than their literal meaning, to convey certain deep and abstract  ideas/emotions, more or less a synonym for symbols/metaphors. Here are a few  instances from the 'Love Song':
>>a patient etherized upon a  table; / The yellow fog  / the butt-ends of my days and ways/ a pair of ragged claws  / the  mermaids / the chambers of the sea  / sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and  brown 
>>My problem  arose when, at this list, I was stopped in my tracks, reprimanded for an  indiscriminate use of 'objective correlative' for Eliot's images, reminding  me what exactly Eliot meant by it:
>>"the only way of expressing emotion in the form of  art is by finding an 'objective correlative'; in other words a set of  objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that  particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate  in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately  evoked." 
>>I brought up this topic for discussion because I  believe that Eliot's notion of 'objective correlative' is much more  comprehensive and all-inclusive, that it does not preclude the common usage  that we associate with an 'objective correlative'. 
>>I presume that Eliot's aforementioned enunciation  was made specifically in the context of Shakespeare's  'Hamlet'.