While I agree with George generally, I would say regarding the assertion
that "heavily didactic poetry is generally bad" are the many exceptions to
that "generally": examples
Milton, Paradise Lost
Dante, The Comedy
Virgil, Aeneid and Georgics
Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe
However, with the passing of the classical style, perhaps in the West at
least, didactic poetry won't work anymore.
----- Original Message -----
From: "george murphy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <email@example.com>
Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: Creativity query
> "D. F. Siemens, Jr." wrote:
> > ..................................................
> > I recall someone claiming that one can separate the poet from the
> > producer of doggerel by a simple question: are the words or the message
> > of primary importance. The one who loves the language may produce a
> > The one who has to communicate a message will never write poetry, just
> > 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 believe that Dorothy Sayers, whom David Campbell notes, would
> > argue that something similar holds between story and message. Her The
> > Mind of the Maker is highly relevant to this point. It seem obvious
> > whenever an actor comes front and center and harangues the audience,
> > drama has degenerated into propaganda. This may also happen more
> > subtilely.
> When one of Beckett's killers in "Murder in the Cathedral" comes
> front & center & addresses the audience - admittedly it isn't exactly an
> "harangue" - it's an intergral part of the action. Among other things it
> jolt members of the audience out of its assurance that they can
> identify with the good guys vs the bad guys in the play.
> George L. Murphy
> "The Science-Theology Interface"
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