Eliot essay on metaphysical poets

Eliot T. Eliot 2 stated that "art, as Goethe said, is in limitation: and a great poet is one who makes the most of the language that is given him. In other words, as this analysis will demonstrate, language may limit what a poet can and cannot do, but it is the ability of the poet to capitalize upon language itself that accounts for poetic greatness.

Others also support the ideas expressed above. Obakanse Lakanse 1 , a teacher of English literature in Lagos, Nigeria, has argued that poets in his country who write in various Nigerian languages are working or perpetuate the greatness of those languages. This analyst believes that it is important to use literary talent and creative ability to affirm the value of language for its cultural meaning and its ability to capture the aesthetics of a people. Further, Lakanse 2 believes that great poets write in the language of their own time and that in this way they shape language and make a permanent mark on it that furthers its greatness.

The Influence of the Metaphysical Poets on the Poetry of T.s. Eliot

Willard Van Orman Quine 65 suggests much the same thing and notes that even when poems in one language are translated into another, no matter how great or accurate the translation, something indispensable has been lost. Specifically, this literary critic believes that great literature shapes and informs language and renders language something more than itself. Even when excellent translations of poetry from one language to ano All Rights Reserved. The age of criticism is also the age of critical poetry. Is the discursive, dialectical nature of Four Quartets only a channel for the expression of beliefs or concepts?

Most of the critical procedures that have been used in the analysis of poems have concentrated upon image, symbol, and structure. No critical method has arisen that proposes to show the poetic character and potentiality of discourse. It has not happened.

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Readers are still encouraged to believe that a poem is an action or a structure of words chiefly concerned with the development of the resources of imagery and symbolism within the fiction of dramatic monologue. The discrimination of concepts is regarded as fit matter for an essay, but not for a poem. Donoghue, But it is stronger, too, insofar as it is absolutely inseparable from the poem in which it incarnates itself. Other echoes Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow? Quick, said the bird, find them, find them, Round the corner.


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Through the first gate, Into our first world, shall we follow The deception of the thrush? Into our first world. There they were, dignified, invisible, Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves, In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air, And the bird called, in response to The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery, And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses Had the look of flowers that are looked at. Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable.

T. S. Eliot: Dissociation of sensibility - CSS Forums

What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage which we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden.

My words echo Thus, in your mind.

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But to what purpose Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know. The printed words appear as echoes left in the wake of writing, awaiting a reader. When we read them, we voice them mentally. In the realm of poetic writing, the impossible is no longer impossible, only purposeless; it does not know the limits of reality. The lines appear not as a comment meant to make the rose-garden passage more explicit, but as its more discursive counterpart. The dialogue between the two is the very dynamics of this first section.

Because of their ambiguous syntax and terms, the last lines are as open to thought and speculation as the previous, imaginary depiction of the garden. It can refer to the present, suggesting that any experience, whether lived or only thought of, is an attempt to grasp the present, to experience it as pure present. What thinking? Yet the speaker asserts that he is thinking , not merely dreaming nor imagining.

Thinking should not only mean relating to a specific object of thought, but trying to create that object through language while experiencing the thought itself, in the deepest way possible. Not here, there is not enough silence.

Metaphysical Poets by T.S Eliot Summary

It evokes the echo of words that would be a proof of presence and the repetition of a sound that is always already lost. Such a sensory apprehension of thought is less easily achieved when reading his essays. His particular tone goes along with the need to define what a good poem is.

The comments are not really meta-poetic because they comment on nothing but what is contiguous within the poem itself; they do not refer to poetry in general, but to the poem which gives them shape. That was a way of putting it—not very satisfactory: A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion, Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle With words and meanings. The poetry does not matter. You say I am repeating Something I have said before. I shall say it again. Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

With your air indifferent and imperious At a stroke our mad poetics to confute— Eliot, As David Spurr writes,. I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be. The Poet T. Eliot and American Philosophy.