By Owen Barfield
Poetic Diction, first released in 1928, starts off by means of asking why we name a given grouping of phrases "poetry" and why those arouse "aesthetic mind's eye" and bring excitement in a receptive reader. Returning continuously to this own adventure of poetry, Owen Barfield while seeks target criteria of feedback and a conception of poetic diction in broader philosophical issues at the relation of global and notion. His profound musings discover issues basic to the knowledge and appreciation of poetry, together with the character of metaphor, poetic influence, the variation among verse and prose, and the essence of meaning.CONTRIBUTOR: Howard Nemerov.
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LEWIS 'Opposition is true friendship' Page vii Contents Foreword by Howard Nemerov page 1 Preface to First Edition 11 Preface to Second Edition 14 I Definition and Examples 41 II The Effects of Poetry 47 III Metaphor 60 IV Meaning and Myth 77 V Language and Poetry 93 VI The Poet 102 VII The Making of Meaning (I) 111 VIII The Making of Meaning (II) 127 IX Verse and Prose 145 X Archaism 152 XI Strangeness 168 XII Conclusion 178 Appendix I 182 Appendix II 183 Appendix III 197 Appendix IV 203 Afterword 212 Index 226 Page 1 Foreword This book first appeared in England in 1928, and was reissued there in 1952 with the addition of a new preface (here included) that helped to specify the application of its author's argument to views of the subject that had in the interval become more explicit, more brutal, and more unthinkingly accepted by scholar and layman alike, than had previously appeared possible.
The passion, if any, that imparts a precarious unity is a passion of withdrawal and detachment, of disillusionment, or, as in Eliot's case, a deep experience of personal or vicarious repentance. Eliot, in fact, solves the problem by using metaphor as sparingly as possible. He prefers the average word which is a dead metaphor. Well, a dead metaphor is at least not stale and detachment is better than a show of participation based on borrowed plumes. All generalization about the poetry of a recent period is likely to be misleading and, in the eyes of posterity, may be comic.
And this is doubly unfortunate for the following reason. Apart from pleasurable entertainment (which must never be forgotten), there are two important functions which poetry is there to perform. One of them is the one I have stressed throughout this book, namely the making of meaning, which gives life to language and makes true knowledge possible. And this it does inasmuch as it is the vehicle of imagination. The other, lying much nearer the surface of life, is to mirror, not necessarily by approving, the characteristic response of the age in which it is written.
Poetic diction: a study in meaning by Owen Barfield