By Robert Pack
Robert Pack is a poet, critic, and director of the Bread Loaf Writers' convention. during this quantity he deals 20 essays at the craft of writing and the character of lyric poetry. He will pay homage to these grasp poets whose excessive achievements have encouraged his personal paintings, and he displays on human mortality and the consolations that aid us to outlive - the comparable pleasures of poetry, laughter, and tune. the 1st portion of the publication involves 3 essays facing the poem as a sort of the doubling of realization, poetic inheritance and the experience of culture, and poetic artwork as a kind of laughter. Pack examines poetic texts as a serious observer, yet ends each one essay with subjective reflections. the second one part comprises 14 short essays on a variety of points of poetic craft, the feel of literary group, the connection among poetry and track, among poetry and technology, among one's psychology and one's mind's eye. casual and anecdotal, those meditations mix literary research and perception with own revelation. The 3rd part consists of 3 essays, all grounded within the author's interpreting of the "Book of Job". the 1st develops a comparability among Darwin's concept of evolution and a twin of God as an amoral author within the "Book of Job". the second one lines the effect of the "Book of task" on poems through Blake, Hopkins, Frost, and Stevens. The 3rd explores the subjects of betrayal and nothingness via a longer comparability of the "Book of task" and "King Lear".
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Extra info for The long view: essays on the discipline of hope and poetic craft
39 (New York: Penguin, 1960), 18-19. " To the "bored officials" and the "crowd,'' this scene of crucifixion reveals only someone else's misfortune; it is an ordinary event. The "decent folk" were there; they "watched" but they failed to see that this was a meaningful event that changed our understanding of history: it was the crucifixion of Christ (along with the two thieves), and it brought to the world, Auden suggests, a message of hope from beyond the world. Through the medium of Hephaestos's art, Auden has invited the reader of his poem to see what the crowd has failed to seea spiritual signand in this sign of belief Auden has replaced his own earlier Marxist views for worldly reform and his own hope for a "cure" of social ills through psychoanalytic understanding (see Auden's "In Memory of Sigmund Freud"), with a belief in Christian salvation.
She looked over his shoulder For ritual pieties, White flower-garlanded heifers, Libation and sacrifice, But there on the shining metal Where the altar should have been, She saw by his flickering forge-light Quite another scene. Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke) And sentries sweated for the day was hot: A crowd of ordinary decent folk Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke As three pale figures were led forth and bound To three posts driven upright in the ground.
The reason Keats dramatizes this collapse and negation of thought, however, is perfectly clear in the context of the poem as a whole, for at heart the poem is about the silence of eternity, and eternity, as Keats shows, is an unthinkable thoughtit is an idea that eludes us in its very conception. To try to think about eternity brings the mind to its own limit; at that border, the mind sees itself as in a mirror, and must turn back to the mortal self and the ephemeral world or lose itself in its own silence.
The long view: essays on the discipline of hope and poetic craft by Robert Pack