Friday, June 05, 2009

from Plato/The Republic

Book X

Socrates - GLAUCON

""""Of the many excellences which I perceive in the order of our State, there is none which upon reflection pleases me better than the rule about poetry.

To what do you refer?

To the rejection of imitative poetry, which certainly ought not to be received; as I see far more clearly now that the parts of the soul have been distinguished.

What do you mean?

Speaking in confidence, for I should not like to have my words repeated to the tragedians and the rest of the imitative tribe --but I do not mind saying to you, that all poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and that the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them.

Explain the purport of your remark.

Well, I will tell you, although I have always from my earliest youth had an awe and love of Homer, which even now makes the words falter on my lips, for he is the great captain and teacher of the whole of that charming tragic company; but a man is not to be reverenced more than the truth, and therefore I will speak out. """"
One reason why I am no poet (or, a fortiori, lyricist, singer, troubadour, etc.--Chopin doesn't need words, ese). That does not mean one supports philistines of whatever sort, however. Ezra Pound offers other reasons--one being that the AUTHENTIC poet, like a composer, dedicates years to learning his craft, to the study of languages, starting with Latin, a romance tongue or two, tal vez pinche aleman: Español creo que es superior francés o italiano--o pinche aleman--y también más exótico. Pound apparently considered Anglish best suited to sea-shanties, even when a Schackaspeare's singing (tho' the bard--or royal AKA the bard--was certainly a competent latinist, probably knew phrench, italian, un poco espanol).

Pound would probably require the Possum-to-be to know classical greek, and an asian language or two as well (those nubes who hate ser y estar--- try arabic verbs). So master those 7 or 8 tongues, and start over, grasshoppah (we might recall that until about 1789 or so poets, like composers, or, belle-artistes, worked for the royals). OR forgettaboutit, be content with small spanglish, less dutch, stick with the pulp splendor of a Dash Hammett, or newspaper, or the rough effective prose of Marxy Marx and pals: Herr Marx most likely agreed with Socrates' somewhat iconoclastic sentiments in Book X, I wager. .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

2:07 AM  

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