Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. 
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight. 
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night. 

The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, 
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends 
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. 

The poetry does stretch beyond the visible, the said, and implicates the invisible, the unsaid, the incommensurable, the ultimate. 

A pretty symbolic mode. 


On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 5:51 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
It seems impossible to say anything without it becoming a totally tiresome personal attack. I did say something, as did Carrol. I don't see any point to repeating it. But mean-spirited personal remarks do not mean I missed anything. And as obnoxious as it is to say this, I really don't think you are qualified to tell me what I understand or miss. One could quite logically--from your statement--argue that symbols give classified ads the CAPACITY [emphasis yours] to elicit the incommensurable and transcendent. In fact, watching even a few on TV suggests that fast cars, chocolates, shampoo, air fresheners, Cialis (though in separate bathtubs), "everything's better when it ships free," (now have a slightly hysterical upsurge of ecstasy), [fill in your own]--are all instant routes to the incommensurable and transcendent.

This is predictable and immediate leap to sneering is also, I think, why this list long ago ceased to sustain any real discussion.

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 5:37 PM, Ken A <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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 A
On Feb 5, 2017, at 4:58 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
The issue I raised is about "symbol" vs. "symbolist."

On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 4:46 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
"Neither flesh nor fleshless"

"concentration / Without elimination" 

No, it does not exclude anything. It includes the physical as well as the metaphysical.  Only it does not exclude the ultimate, the permanent, the Absolute. It adds something to, and thus enriches, our experience of this world. 

Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together 
But when I look ahead up the white road 
There is always another one walking beside you 
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded 
I do not know whether a man or a woman 
—But who is that on the other side of you? 


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.

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"?