Thursday, December 1, 2011

Poetic Diction Quotes Part 3

p.126: “Yet it serves well enough to show how the man of today, overburdened with self-consciousness, lonely, insulated from Reality by his shadowy, abstract thoughts, and ever on the verge of the awful maelstrom of his own fantastic dreams, has among his other compensations these lovely ancestral words, embalming the souls of many poets dead and gone and the souls of many common men.”

p. 130-1: “When we can experience a change of meaning – a new meaning – there we may really join hands and sing with the morning stars; for there we are in at the birth. There is one of the exact points at which the genius, the originality, of the individual poet has first entered the world.” [like enzyme specificity/activity more than domains joining?]

p. 133: “Unless he has enough imagination, and enough power of detachment from the established meanings or thought-forms of his own civilization, to enable him to grasp the meanings of the fundamental terms – unless, in fact, he has the power not only of thinking, but, of unthinking – he will simply interpret everything they say in terms of subsequent thought.”

p.136-7: “Oscar Wilde’s mot – that men are made by books rather than books by men – was certainly not pure nonsense; there is a very real sense, humiliating as it may seem, in which what we generally venture to call our feelings are really Shakespeare’s ‘meaning’.” [The Shakespearean “explosion" = The Cambrian explosion?]

p.138-9: “Really, there is no distinction between Poetry and Science, as kinds of knowing, at all. There is only a distinction between bad poetry and bad science.”

p.144: “For all meaning flows from the creative principle, to poieion, whether it lives on, as given and remembered, or is re-introduced by the individualized creative faculty, the analogy-perceiving, methaphor-making machinery. In Platonic terms we should say that the rational principle can increase understanding, and it can increase true opinion, but it can never increase knowledge.”

p.167: “We have to but substitute dogma for literature, and we find the same endless antagonism between prophet and priest. How shall the hard rind not hate and detest the unembodied life that is cracking it from within? How shall the mother not feel pain?”

p.168: “For the pure prosaic can apprehend nothing but results. It knows naught of the thing coming into being, only of the thing become. It cannot realize shapes. It sees nature –and would like to see art – as a series of mechanical arrangements of facts. And facts are facta – things done and past.”

p.176: “No genuine lover of poetry and of words can pick up a book on, say, Botany or Metallurgy, and read of spores and capsules and lanceolate leaves, of pearly and adamantine lustres, without feeling poetically enriched by that section of the new vocabulary which actually impinges on his own present consciousness of Nature.” [my own fascination with geology is similar]

p.179: “’Language,’ wrote Emerson, in a flash of insight which covers practically all that has been written in these pages, ‘is fossil poetry.’”

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