The Art of Reading?

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:30 am

Sounds like my sort of guy :P
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Trish » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:32 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:"......although sometimes in the mode of Shakespeare's radical paradoxes and imploded contraries."


Methinks that (badly) refers to Samuel Johnson's critique of Donne in his "Concourse of Discordia."

Any writer who could annoy popular critics, (Johnson, John Dryden) to the degree that Donne did (ain't that funny) has got to be worth a nice, long read.


My favorite bit from Donne's The Sun Rising:
"She's all states, and all princes I.
Nothing else is."
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:53 pm

What's an "imploded contrary" and what's a "radical paradox"?

I know individually what the words mean, but not when they're put together in groups of two! :?
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Postby Trish » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:58 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:What's an "imploded contrary" and what's a "radical paradox"?

I know individually what the words mean, but not when they're put together in groups of two! :?



In real plain English (or American-English).

You know what a 'contrary' is, right. Take two contraries, stack em up side by side, watch each prove the other to be so.

With Donne, any critic who refers to 'paradox' is usually referring to Donne's "language of love" for which he was criticized by his peers. Dryden said his poetry would've been better off by 'not perplexing the minds of the fair sex with words they cannot understand.'

Donne made light the of prevailing Petrarchan notions of love because he liked his women with brains, not just boobs. Love poetry "from the neck up" is Donne.

That's (part of) your radical paradox.

The other part of 'radical paradox' refers to Donne's take on love.
The Middle Ages weren't really over; with that, you have the uber-Christian rejection of "love" period. Plus, you have the Elizabethan notions of sex as 'the little death' and you have these popular ideas going on at the same time.

No, really. Elizabethans actually thought every orgasm took 10 minutes or something off you life. Marriage might sanctify sex, but it's still icky.

Donne said nuts to both. His love poems convey the idea that it's the lovers themselves who sanctify their love. No authority needed.

To steal from a critic (Joan Bennett, whose critique and answer to CS Lewis I like): "if delight in one another is mutual, physical is its proper consummation but if "the lovers are not inter-assured of mind" then the 'sport' is but a winter-seeming summers-night."

Donne wrote about love & lust and was a great fan of them together.
He didn't denigrate lust, just knew it didn't last past sunrise.


Pooh, you know about literary conceit. Which is wit stretched as far as it'll go.
Donne just stretched it past that so it'd bounce back.
Last edited by Trish on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:02 am

Oh dear... :shock:
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby swreader » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:00 am

Let me introduce you to another of my favorite poems--from a much later period. Arnold is reacting to Darwinism and the conflict between science and religion, but it seems to me to speak as strongly today. And what a love poem this is!

DOVER BEACH
By Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

1867

Matthew Arnold as described here is an often overlooked but, I think, a very modern poet both in world view and in style.
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Postby Dotsie » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:29 am

I have read this poem before, but I confess I thought it was just an elaborate pick-up line :?
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
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Postby poohbcarrot » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:11 pm

Did it work? :lol:
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Postby Dotsie » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:36 pm

I think it only works on women (annoyingly) :lol:

No-one's tried it on me :(
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
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Postby poohbcarrot » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:42 pm

Dotsie

The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

FANCY A SHAG? :lol:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:09 pm

Trish wrote:You know what a 'contrary' is, right. Take two contraries, stack em up side by side, watch each prove the other to be so.


Can you give me a simple example, please?
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Postby Dotsie » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:08 pm

Pooh you are so naughty!

But the first thing I did was this:

:oops: Giggles :lol:
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
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Postby chris.ph » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:26 pm

i was in north carolina in a bar and a woman came up to me and asked me that. i told her that i didnt know the dance and she said she didnt mean the dance . i nearly fell off my stool :lol: :lol:
measuring intelligence by exam results is like measuring digestion by turd length
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:05 pm

LMAO :twisted: :twisted:
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby Trish » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:03 am

poohbcarrot wrote:
Trish wrote:You know what a 'contrary' is, right. Take two contraries, stack em up side by side, watch each prove the other to be so.


Can you give me a simple example, please?


Yeah, I can. Got to look it up.
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