[Milton-L] Fetishizing Greatness, was Re: Is Paradise Lost

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Sat Apr 25 16:20:55 EDT 2009


"Yes.  The fact that a philosopher can talk about poetry intelligently
(or say intelligent things that we can apply to the study of poetry)
does not mean he is writing poetry when doing so."

That's true, Jim.  But some philosophers do write in poetry in some parts of 
their treatises. So I agree with Larry Gorman on this point.  For example, 
Plato in his allegory of the cave, and in his metaphors.  I think Robert 
Frost defines poetry as "metaphor" and this definition transcends the rigid 
generic distinctions between "poetry" and "prose." I think  we can find a 
range of poetry from the "pure," like Shakespeare's language (most of the 
time) and Milton's poetic works, which are metaphorical as well formal (i.e. 
adhere to rigid form) to poetic prose, like Plato's and  Flaubert's, 
especially in Madame Bovary,  where there's brilliant metaphorical language. 
Where there's metaphor, there's poetry.
Salwa


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dr. Larry Gorman" <larry at eastwest.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 2:23 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Fetishizing Greatness, was Re: Is Paradise Lost


> But that isn't the point.  The point is that we talk about poetry and
> prose as single things because we have single words for them and we tend
> to think that therefore they have a single meaning.  But there are a
> variety of languages games in which we use the words.  In language game
> A poetry refers to metered verse and we say that writing free verse is
> like playing tennis without a net.  In language game B we make what we
> call a poem out of a note we left to our wife after we got home late and
> ate the plums left in the fridge.  In language game C we note that
> passages from Moby Dick are really poems in disguise.  All of these
> games make sense, and when someone else plays by other rules than ours
> we can get all snarky and self-righteous because we know what it means
> to write poetry, and those ignorant fools obviously don't.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of James Rovira
> Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 1:54 PM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Fetishizing Greatness, was Re: Is Paradise Lost
>
> Yes.  The fact that a philosopher can talk about poetry intelligently
> (or say intelligent things that we can apply to the study of poetry)
> does not mean he is writing poetry when doing so.
>
> Forgive me, let me correct myself:
>
> Yes
> The fact that
> a philosopher can
> talk about poetry
> intelligently
> (or say
> intelligent things that
> we can apply
> to the study of
> poetry)
> does not
> mean
> he is writing
> poetry
> when doing
> so.
>
> Jim R
>
> On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 2:22 PM, Dr. Larry Gorman <larry at eastwest.edu>
> wrote:
>> But aren't the concepts "poetry" and "prose" very much like the
> concept
>> of "game" as discussed in Philosophical Investigations?
>>
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