On Tue, 30 Jul 2002 17:40:30 -0400 george murphy <email@example.com>
> "D. F. Siemens, Jr." wrote:
> > ..................................................
> > I recall someone claiming that one can separate the poet from
> > producer of doggerel by a simple question: are the words or the
> > of primary importance. The one who loves the language may produce
> a poem.
> > The one who has to communicate a message will never write poetry,
> > verse.
> I can't agree with you here. Consider, e.g., how much of the
> Bible - &
> not just the Psalms - is poetry. Heavily didactic poetry is
> generally bad
> but it is certainly possible to communicate a message without
> falling into
> that trap.
I fear you are overlooking the "indirection" of poetry, the way in which
images communicate a message without "telling you what I'm going to tell
you." Poetry, in a eulogistic sense, is indirect.
> > I believe that Dorothy Sayers, whom David Campbell notes, would
> > argue that something similar holds between story and message. Her
> > Mind of the Maker is highly relevant to this point. It seem
> obvious that,
> > whenever an actor comes front and center and harangues the
> audience, the
> > drama has degenerated into propaganda. This may also happen more
> > subtilely.
> When one of Beckett's killers in "Murder in the Cathedral"
> front & center & addresses the audience - admittedly it isn't
> exactly an
> "harangue" - it's an intergral part of the action. Among other
> things it can
> jolt members of the audience out of its assurance that they can
> identify with the good guys vs the bad guys in the play.
To misuse the phrase, as it is usually abused, this is the exception that
proves the rule. Your description of it indicates that its effect is
complex, not direct. It is clearly not extraneous demagoguery.
I'll stand with my classification.
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