Statement of Philosophy

A site for exploration and discussion about verse, poetics, the aesthetic, and creative writing in general.

Because there is a profound difference between writing something to be read and writing something worth reading; and in that difference might beauty be found.

★★ The Latest Posts on Hatter's Adversaria
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sharing a Found Bibliography

This post has been added to the Hatter's Cabinet site via its Best of the Poetry Daily Critique page

The Afterword of Owen Barfield's Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning, added by the author after the third edition, consists mostly of a list of works in the same exploration as Poetic Diction, works written at or before the first edition of 1928 and in the time between then and the third edition of 1973. It is quite an excellent list of works for people interested in aesthetic literature (and the aesthetic in general), including writers thereof. (Indeed, Barfield's text is itself equally applicable to both appreciators of aesthetic literature and writers thereof.) Being familiar with a majority of the works (or authors) on the list, and what with it being in Poetic Diction, quite the worthwhile book on its own measure, I have no qualms with passing it on here in this post (and adding it, after, to the library). For a better basis of recommendation than my own familiarity, I will say that this is a list of the usual suspects of the field, works and authors that I have frequently seen referenced to this very end. (In truth, this list has reorganized my theoretic reading list.)

The authors and books below all approach the same general subject — the aesthetic modality of being — though often from different approaches, both in content and in the nuances and details of their theoretic/critical systems. The aesthetic, by the very nature of its modality of thought, cannot be spoken of in the manner of the theoretic, arriving at any sense of theoretic definitiveness: it can only be spoken about. To approach it genuinely is invariably to approach along one's own path. As Jung wrote about the exploration of psychology, which is concomitant to the exploration of the aesthetic, "[t]he psychologist should constantly bear in mind that his hypothesis is no more at first than the expression of his own subjective premise and can therefore never lay immediate claim to general validity" (The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature, Collected Works, 85).

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sonnet 128 — William Shakespeare

First lines:
How oft, when thou my music music play'st
Upon that blessèd wood whose motion sounds


structure and organic unity

This post has been added to the Hatter's Cabinet site via its Best of the Poetry Daily Critique page


Before I start the post proper, let me give a couple of notes as to my project here and the blog itself.

I have said previously that I have decided to extend my subject matter outward to cover more than just the poems of the two daily sites. There really is no reason not to be exploring works by non-contemporary authors, or works not of the immediate now (which is the domain of daily sites). Also, I have for a while carried the thought to start looking at books of poetry. One of the issues I have with contemporary poetry is its apparent laziness: books seem too often assembled and printed — and then praised as worthwhile effort — simply because they are books with enough poems in it to fill a hundred, or eighty, or sixty pages. Even though, like a pop album, once you get past the songs that get air play, the rest of the can be fairly banal, if not bad. The general work of poetry culture today is too small: too small in size, and too small in thought. To explore that requires exploring the larger contexts. Also in that vein, I have wanted to start looking at things like Pulitzer winners, to see if there is really anything there worth trumpeting. Through such explorations, I feel, might be able to speak to the culture of poetry while still maintaining the purpose of this blog: to talk about poetry from the viewpoint of the writing of poetry.

Simultaneously, my posting here will stay somewhat slow for a while. In no small part this is because of some major projects cluttering up my desk and holding court in my mind. I would like to try to have one good post every seven to ten days but cannot guarantee it. I am hoping that starting larger explorations, like books of poetry, may actually aid in the rate of posts. Such explorations — and the expanding of the coverage area — will bring the blog project into more interaction with my other projects, which is good all around. In honesty, I am disappointed in myself that I have let my rate of posts here slide, though only in the lesser degree in the sense of production; in the greater degree simply in that I have also stopped exploring the poetry being presented by the dailies. Hopefully, these changes will give this project new life for me.

That being said . . . .