The Ground of Our Beseeching: Metaphor and the Poetics of Meditation

Susquehanna University Press, 2004 - 391 páginas
This book describes the signature styles of meditation in three American poets, and shows how each generated language out of spiritual yearning. Beginning with a survey of twentieth-century thinking on metaphor, the study concentrates on hermeneutical theories of figurative language as forged by continental philosophers Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and Gaston Bachelard. It arrives at a view of metaphor as an analogue of faith, and traces the development of metaphorical practice in the later, meditative sequences of Eliot, Stevens, and Roethke. The book also explores the ways in which both the lengthening poetic structures and the transcendent desires of each poet determine the kind of metaphor that arises, and also the way in which metaphor itself is able to transport each poet to a hitherto unreachable expression of faith, whether in an identifiable deity, as was Eliot's case, or in a more maverick apprehension of the transcendent, as in Stevens and Roethke. Metaphor comes to embody the qualities of possibility, confidence, and expectation usually manifested in orthodox expressions of religious faith. Peter Sharpe is Professor of English at Wagner College.

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Página 79 - A man's power to connect his thought with its proper symbol, and so to utter it, depends on the simplicity of his character, that is, upon his love of truth and his desire to communicate it without loss.
Página 103 - From the wide window towards the granite shore The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying Unbroken wings And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices And the weak spirit quickens to rebel For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell...
Página 241 - Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Página 159 - And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Página 227 - Though I should gaze for ever On that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
Página 136 - Here and there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
Página 254 - Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth...
Página 106 - They know and do not know, what it is to act or suffer. They know and do not know, that acting is suffering And suffering is action. Neither does the actor suffer Nor the patient act. But both are fixed In an eternal action, an eternal patience To which all must consent...
Página 272 - ... reveals itself in the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness, with difference; of the general, with the concrete; the idea, with the image; the individual, with the representative; the sense of novelty and freshness, with old and familiar objects...
Página 181 - Let's see the very thing and nothing else. Let's see it with the hottest fire of sight. Burn everything not part of it to ash. Trace the gold sun about the whitened sky Without evasion by a single metaphor.

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