Tag Archives: poetry

HomePosts Tagged "poetry"
Mary Oliver

Eric Voegelin developed a rich body of concepts for interpreting literary symbols.  This essay will use those concepts to interpret some of the verse of the contemporary American poet Mary Oliver.  “The poem most popular today is the fairly brief lyric poem” (APH 84).[1]  Oliver’s oeuvre consists almost exclusively of such poetry.  Thus it will be appropriate to begin by…
Stefan George 2

In a letter to the literary scholar Robert Heilman in 1961 Eric Voegelin expressed his agreement with the view that good literature does not merely imitate or interpret reality but is a constituent of reality. In this regard he referred to Aristotle’s observation that the poet gives us deeper insights into human nature than the historian because, while the historian…
Chinese Poetry

In his final writings, Eric Voegelin was preoccupied with paradox as an irreducible aspect of his study of participation, the classical symbol of man’s identity in light of divinity. Participation is not open to conceptual clarity, partly because one of the terms of the relationship – God – eludes univocal definition, and partly because the relationship between man and God…
Elizabeth Bishop

Voegelin’s exposition of the metaxy (between) in In Search of Order could be summarized this way: the metaxy emerges from the writer’s search for order in experience.  The metaxy and the search happen in language. Language is both resistant and revelatory; the equivocal character of experience in the between baffles the tendency of language to reduce the field of experience;…
Geoffrey Hill

If I hadn’t been introduced to the metaxy by reading Voegelin in the 80s and William Desmond more recently I would have had to invent it to read the late British poet Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016).  As a poetry reviewer I was often asked to review his books, and the poems were so dense with allusions and spiked with strong, anti-lyric…
Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz once told an interviewer that during his long life he had experienced two conditions of terror: the first in Poland under the Nazi and Communist regimes, the second in the U.S. under economic terrorism.
In his prose and poetry Milosz responds – perhaps “resists” is a better way to put it -- to all kinds of ideology that reduce…
Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) is considered one of the greatest American poets, perhaps a third after Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.  He had something of both: a sharp metaphysical wit and a broad generous embrace of the spectacle of humanity. The former is more often noticed than the latter, however; Stevens, especially in his later, longer poems, can be difficult, if…
Seamus Heaney

The goal of this series of essays is the illumination of individual poems as metaxic spaces. Readers of Voegelinview will recall Glenn Hughes’s ground-breaking essays on Emily Dickinson in this regard.  Voegelin’s “In Search of Order” (2000) introduced us to the depths of the discourse of the metaxy: our plunging footprints darken his snow. Second, William Desmond has explored “the…