Metaphysical poets - Wikipedia
The Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry was endowed in by C.C. Stillman (Harvard ). . American painter Ben Shahn sets down his personal views of the relationship of the artist—painter, writer, Phillips, Rachel. Eliot distrusts any criticism that aspires to a scientific knowledge of its .. The origin of the poem "has no relation to the poem and throws no. SOCIAL media sensation Ben Phillips' catchphrase is "sorry bro" - and he's said it a lot over the past few years. But his co-star Elliot Giles.
It has, too, practical consequences for the historian of literature, such as the fragmentation of literary genres. In order to read the novels of Wilkie Collins we must be able to reunite the elemnents that have become dissociated in the modern novel. The Victorian novel reunited the thriller, the sentimental novel, the philosophical novel. Now these elements have split into as many genres. The subgenre of the "thriller" did not exist in the Victorian age because the best novels were thrilling.
The Language and Technique of Poetry 6. The use of convention. An important mission of the poet is to restore and to develop language. In order to do this, the poetry must stand in some relation with common language.
The language of poetry must not "stray too far from the ordinary everyday language which we use and hear. Milton, on the other hand, is the example of the way the poet should not use language, tearing it apart from the common language. He rejects those styles in which language itself becomes the center of attention, instead of pointing towards its object; he warns against "language dissociated from things, assuming an independent existence. He wants to write prosaic poetry, which nevertheless is the contrary of Pater's poetic prose: He does not identify poetry and verse; for him poetry is an honorific term.
He complains somewhere that we lack the the word to qualify good prose as "poetry" qualifies good verse. However, Eliot justifies the use of verse, even in drama: The first is the poetry of images, the kind of poetry written by St.
And when speaking of long poems or of drama, he holds that there must be a difference in degrees of poetic intensity between the parts. The less "intense" fulfil the role of prose inside the poem. In any case, whether we write a poetry of images or a poetry of ideas, Eliot demands that poetry in our present-day civilization must be difficult. The poet must become more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning.
Vanity Fea: Modernist Poetry and Criticism: T. S. Eliot
It is not sufficient to 'look into our hearts and write'. One must look into the cerebral cortex, the nervous system, and the digestive tracts. The reference to allusion is important. Eliot became known in the early s because his poetry was "so full of quotations. His poetry, therefore, invokes a large number of world-views and implied contexts which are brought to bear on the poem. Eliot's disgust with contemporary reality may be "a traditional literary device" Sampson but his technique to convey this disgust is new enough: Myth and Symbol Eliot sees the connection between poetry, myth, and ritual, but he does not favour the primitivistic interpretations of Jung or Herbert Read, or the latter's notion of "unconscious symbols.
And the moment we become conscious that it is a symbol, is it any longer a symbol? Symbolism is for Eliot one of the main resources of the poet. The poet turns the word into a symbol; that is, he makes it work as much as possible, uniting the disparate in the concrete, meaning more than it would in other kind of writing. Likewise, Eliot recommends myth as a method, a technique. The role of myth in his poetry can be compared to that of literary allusion.
A myth can provide the framework of a contemporary work. The Use of Convention There are other conventions, apart from myth, available to the poet. The conscious artificiality of a genre, its "rhetoric", is not a shortcoming, but a precondition for a required effect.
Eliot reacts against the naturalistic tradition in drama, and wants to recover the right for a character to speak in monologue or being aware of his own dramatic role, the kind of play inside the play that we often find in Shakespeare.
The rhetoric of the Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatic speeches is the result of a conscious delight in speech. This is pernicious if it is done for its own sake, "if it is not done for a particular effect but for a general impressiveness" "Rhetoric" Generic conventions must be used as elements of poetic construction.
They must become a channel through which to articulate the emotion in drama. Eliot reacts against the dramatic tradition of Shaw or Ibsen, and calls for a more concentrated, more stylized, more intense drama, closer to the religious ritual which was at the origin of drama.
Poetic drama he defines as "a design of human action and of words, such as to present at once the two aspects of dramatic and musical order.
Melodrama does not arise naturally, in the way drama does: Eliot speaks of exploring the devices of melodrama, presumably to turn them to worthier uses. The Function of Criticism Just like literature, the body of criticism forms an organic whole, a society of dead critics. There is an unconscious community between critics as there is one between artists. But criticism is not autotelic, like art. Its end is "the elucidation of the works of art and the correction of taste" "Function".
Eliot insists on the need to adopt critical standards, to choose the principles of criticism. He draws here a significant analogy between criticism, literature, religion and politics. The English tendency is to Protestantism, to Romanticism, to individualistic, liberal Whiggery and to critical anarchy.
The French tendency is to classicism and Catholicism, to the establishment of a central authority and the regulation of taste: All of Eliot's thought is pervaded by this classicist ideal: Eliot seems to have derived much inspiration for this from the French critic Remy de Gourmont. In "Tradition and the Individual Talent", T. Eliot has sown the seeds of both his poetics and his critical theory. Criticism must concentrate itself on properly literary matters, not extraliterary considerations.
Eliot calls critics such as the "New Humanists" Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More "imperfect critics" because their concern is primarily moral, not artistic. He also reacts against impressionistic criticics, who are unable to establish critical principles, to formulate the general laws underlying their impressions, in a word, to objectify what is subjective. Eliot's poetics based on tradition and impersonality has a direct bearing on his critical ideas. It is the poem and not the poet who will become the center of critical attention.
Biographical criticism, or any kind of data concerning the circumstances of the work instead of the work itself are useless as an explication of the work. The only relevant tools of the critic are comparison and analysis.
We have already seen that every poet has a critic inside him which is his connection with tradition and guides him during the composition of his work. This is Eliot's backhanded way of showing criticism out of the literary scene. If every poet has a critic inside himself, there is no need for other critics to show him his job. There are more kinds of criticism apart from the one built-in in the poet. Most of them are not legitimate. Eliot is fond of drawing a distinction between scholarship and practical criticism.
Scholarship is ideally concerned with facts; its aim is to interpret the meaning of the work in its original historical context. Criticism is concerned with value judgments: This confrontation will be replayed again and again during the following decades. According to Wellek, "making criticism serve only temporary ends while scholarship serves the permanent seems a specious conclusion based on a false dichotomy. At one time Eliot claims that "the only genuine criticism is that of the poet-critic who is criticizing poetry in order to create poetry.
Aristotle, who seems to have been good at everything. Predictably, Eliot was strongly criticized for these views. They are unduly restrictive, both of the authors and the scope of criticism.
But still Eliot rejects interpretation and judicial criticism. A further imperfect kind of criticism is interpretation. When applied to criticism, Eliot's theory of impersonality makes him warn us against the dangers of critical interpretation: Qua work of art, the work of art cannot be interpreted; there is nothing to interpret, we can only criticize it according to standards, in comparison to other works of art; and for "interpretation" the chief task is the presentation of relevant historical facts which the reader is not assumed to know.
Even the critics who investigate Shakespeare's laundry bills are better than those who try to "interpret" the work and succeed only in interpreting themselves. Eliot has a respect for factual scholarship that he does not manifest when facing journalistic criticism.
Facts cannot corrupt taste, but random opinons and fanciful interpretations can. Just as the critic has no business giving advice to the poet on how to write, he has no business giving advice to the reader on how to read.
The critic, like the author, must be impersonal; his role is to attract the attention of the reader to the work, not to himself. Criticism which draws attention to himself is vicious, and must be avoided. Interpretation is not true criticism because it falsifies the work.
The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
You lose contact with the work itself, and "instead of insight, you get a fiction. Eliot does not believe in the possibility of a single or permanent interpretation: We have already mentioned Eliot's conception of the autonomy of the poem, his rejection of the continued authorial control on the finished work.
The meaning of the poem is left for the reader to decide; it does not seem to be completely fixed in Eliot's conception. Judgments of value are also forbidden in criticism. Eliot "seems rather to protest against subjective and arbitrary interpretation and against the dogmatic ranking of authors.
It is to be noted that in rejecting interpretation and judgment as tasks proper to the critic, Eliot is not dismissing them completely: What is left, then, for the critic to do? The aim of criticism is "the return to the work of art with improved perception and intensified, because more conscious, enjoyment. The critic can explain the technique of the poet, the way he says things, instead of the things he says.
Literature, Morality, Religion The early Eliot defended the autonomy of art. The later Eliot subordinated it to religion. Poetry is not actual religion nor an adequate substitute Eliot always defended this but in the later years it is seen as a preparation for religion. The need of critical regulation we have been commenting on exceeds the purely literary judgment.
Literary criticism must be supplemented by moral and religious criticism. Because of this Eliot has been accused of upholding a double standard of value. Literary criticism should be completed by criticism from a definite ethical and theological standpoint.
The 'greatness' of literature cannot be determined solely by literary standards; though we must remember that whether it is literature or not can be determined only by literary standards.
The New Critics will reproach Eliot that he has accepted the division in the first place and will keep trying to fit together the fragments of the work.
According to Wellek, Eliot speaks here "as if morality and theology were ingredients merely added to minimal aesthetic value. But Eliot refuses to subordinate the religious standard to a wholesale moral aesthetics, and insists on opposing two regulative principles. He gave a name to this regulative principle when he declared himself to be a classicist in literature, a royalist in politics and an Anglo-Catholic in religion. Morality is a constituent part of literature, and good literature must be moral.
We separate irrationally and incompletely our literary from our religious judgments. Aesthetic and moral pleasure must not be divorced: Reading literature, Eliot argues, affects not only our taste but the whole of our being. Therefore, Eliot reacts against purely aesthetic approaches to literature, and differentiates taste and morality: Few people are honest enough to know either.
Using the computer as an oracle in conjunction with a large source text, he happens upon ideas, which produce more ideas. Chance, and not Cage, makes the choices and central decisions. In so doing, he uncovers the truth that all our attempts to call any strong work more sacred than another are merely political and social formulations.
Six Walks in the Fictional Woods Eco, Umberto In this exhilarating book, we accompany Eco as he explores the intricacies of fictional form and method.
An exhilarating exploration of musical language, forms, and styles of the period, it captures the spirit that enlivened a generation of composers and musicians, and so conveys the very sense of Romantic music.Ben Phillips and Elliot Giles - INTERVIEW!!
Borges, Jorge Luis Mihailescu, Calin-Andrei This Craft of Verse captures the cadences, candor, wit, and remarkable erudition of one of the most extraordinary and enduring literary voices of the twentieth century.
It stands as a deeply personal yet far-reaching introduction to the pleasures of the word, and as a first-hand testimony to the life of literature.
In the re-creation of his talks, the author considers music ranging from Hindu ragas through Mozart and Ravel to Copland, Shoenberg, and Stravinsky. Together, they form a good introduction to his work. A Study of the Structure of Romance Frye, Northrop Frye finds in romantic narratives of Western tradition an imaginative universe stretching from an idyllic world to a demonic one, and a pattern of cyclical descent into and ascent out of the demonic realm.
The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art are ransacked for illustrations, comparisons, and allusions; their learning instructs, and their subtilty surprises; but the reader commonly thinks his improvement dearly bought, and, though he sometimes admires, is seldom pleased. John Dryden had already satirised the Baroque taste for them in his Mac Flecknoe and Joseph Addisonin quoting him, singled out the poetry of George Herbert as providing a flagrant example.
In his initial use of the term, Johnson quoted just three poets: Colin Burrow, writing for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biographysingles out John DonneGeorge HerbertHenry VaughanAndrew Marvelland Richard Crashaw as 'central figures', while naming many more, all or part of whose work has been identified as sharing its characteristics.
While comprehensive, her selection, as Burrow remarks, so dilutes the style as to make it "virtually coextensive with seventeenth-century poetry". John Norris was better known as a Platonist philosopher. Thomas Traherne 's poetry remained unpublished until the start of the 20th century. Edward Taylorwho is now counted as the outstanding English-language poet of North America, was only discovered in Characteristics[ edit ] Free from former articifical styles[ edit ] Grierson attempted to characterise the main traits of Metaphysical poetry in the introduction to his anthology.
For him it begins with a break with the formerly artificial style of their antecedents to one free from poetic diction or conventions. It was from the use of conceits particularly that the writing of these European counterparts was known, Concettismo in Italian, Conceptismo in Spanish. Grierson noted in addition that the slightly older poet, Robert Southwell who is included in Gardner's anthology as a precursorhad learned from the antithetical, conceited style of Italian poetry and knew Spanish as well.
The European dimension of the Catholic poets Crashaw and Southwell has been commented on by others. The use of conceits was common not only across the Continent, but also elsewhere in England among the Cavalier poetsincluding such elegists of Donne as Carew and Godolphin. Another striking example occurs in Baroque poems celebrating "black beauty", built on the opposition between the norm of feminine beauty and instances that challenge that commonplace.
But English writing goes further by employing ideas and images derived from contemporary scientific or geographical discoveries to examine religious and moral questions, often with an element of casuistry. Stylistic echoes[ edit ] Long before it was so-named, the Metaphysical poetic approach was an available model for others outside the interlinking networks of 17th century writers, especially young men who had yet to settle for a particular voice.
The poems written by John Milton while still at university are a case in point and include some that were among his earliest published work, well before their inclusion in his Poems of It may be remembered also that at the time Milton composed these, the slightly younger John Cleveland was a fellow student at Christ's College, Cambridgeon whom the influence of the Metaphysical style was more lasting. In Milton's case, there is an understandable difference in the way he matched his style to his subjects.