Tag Archives: poetry

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In the Republic, Socrates holds that there are correlations among the poetic rhythms and the constitutions of state and soul. He does not explicitly tell us what the correlations are. So it is challenging to determine which rhythms correlate with which constitutions. The goal of the paper is to determine, as best the evidence allows, which poetic rhythms correlate with…

The Ancient Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry. Raymond Barfield. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2011.

 
From its beginnings, philosophy’s language, concepts, and imaginative growth have been heavily influenced by poetry. Drawing upon the works of a wide range of thinkers throughout the history of Western philosophy, Barfield explores the pervasiveness of poetry’s impact on philosophy and, conversely, how philosophy has sometimes resisted…
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…