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Passions in Poetry

The White Goddess

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Sven
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0 posted 10-22-2001 02:52 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

I've just begun reading this book by Robert Graves, and have found something that I want to share with you:
quote:
The function of poetry is the religious invocation of the Muse; its use is the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her presence excites....

I'd like to hear your opinions on this, and what you feel about it.  Thanks

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To the world, you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.

Interloper
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Deep in the heart


1 posted 10-22-2001 04:21 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

I'd give you my opinion by I don't understand the statement.  The function of poetry is different for the reader than the author. Sounds like too broad of a statement to me
catalinamoon
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2 posted 10-23-2001 10:32 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

I think poetry is just that, to the writer, anyway.
Sandra
Brad
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3 posted 10-23-2001 11:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

This, in a way, is the Romantic definition of poetry. I disagree slightly but only slightly. Poetry (or more precisely, this thing we call literature and even that can subsumed under art.), the best of it, is about transformation of self.

It's about seeing the world and your self in that world differently.

The danger is that you can't predict where that transformation will lead you.

More later,
Brad
hush
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since 05-27-2001
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4 posted 10-24-2001 11:52 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I agree with Interloper. The statement is way too broad... it's also very vague, since the word Muse can invoke dozens of images... loose spiritual references don't work for me... and in this context, sounded a little pretentious... I think people have a tendancy to write vaguely and use wordy veils in an attempt to make themselves sound smarter, or deeper- or, to be less judgemental and biased, I should say to make their message sound more involved than it really is... hold on, there's an Allen Ginsberg poem that explains what I'm saying better than I can: (I hope I don't get edited for copyright infringement.. do i get away with it if I only post part?)

this is from 'On Burroughs Work'

The method must be purest meat
   and no symbolic dressing,
actual visions & actual prisons
   as seen then and now.

......

A naked lunch is natural to us,
   we eat reality sandwiches.
But allegories are so much lettuce.
   Don't hide the madness.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Jericha Satchel
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5 posted 11-07-2001 02:43 AM       View Profile for Jericha Satchel   Email Jericha Satchel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jericha Satchel

It's twaddle (as it stands).
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 11-07-2001 04:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I suppose if you read it literally, I'd have to agree with the general trend here, but I don't read it that way. It's a metaphor to explain the dialectical relationship of risk and opportunity present in any good poem I've ever read.

If you accept the Muse as writing something 'new' in Ezra Pound's words, I think there is a genuine feeling of horror and exaltation in the best poetry. I don't think there's anything spiritual or transcendental to this, I just think it happens.

I see this in the same light as an article at the Melic review that called poetry 'reverse prayer.'

I see this in the same light as Auden's authentic voice.

Or Frost's 'ulterior'

Or Hollander's 'fictive'.

Honestly, flawed as it may be (in conflating the aesthetic experience with a spirtual one), I think it's a better description than 'self-expression' which implies a lot more than most people expect.

Brad
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