In the ever so brief quote from Hughes, he said the symbolic nature of poetry gives it the CAPACITY to elicit the incommensurable and transcendence. Why assert that this excludes anything else that poetry might do? Carrol and you apparently missed that seemingly reasonable part of the formulation. Of Carrol's objection to Hughes' wordiness: at least Hughes had something to say. Most especially on the T S Eliot list, I would hope that poetry's dealings with ultimate meaning, the incommensurable, and transcendence constitute eminently appropriate topics of conversation.Ken AOn Feb 5, 2017, at 4:58 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:The issue I raised is about "symbol" vs. "symbolist."N
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:46 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 1:12 PM Nancy Gish < [log in to unmask]> wrote:
The issue here is, as you note, what one means by "symbolic." Hughes seems to think it is the same as "symbolist" in the notion of being a gateway to a spiritual world outside physical reality. That would seem to cut out a great deal of poetry--like imagism, or WCW or Levertov or any poet who saw or sees poems as ways to engage with the material world directly.
Otherwise, as you say, it is just a tautology.Nancy
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 1:07 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
"Because poetry is fundamentally symbolic in its form, it possesses the
capacity to suggest the incommensurable and unknowable of the transcendence
and thereby reawaken the spiritual experiences that gave rise to the symbols
and stories of poetry in the first place."
This is an odd proposition. Classified ads are fundamentally symbolic. Porn
videos on YouTube are fundamentally symbolic. Coffee-shop chatter is
fundamentally symbolic. Nothing in particular follows from the tautology
that poetry is symbolic.
The portentousness of the mere word, "symbol," is itself a bit odd.
And what is the difference between "poetry is symbolic" and "poetry is
fundamentally symbolic in its form"?