Jeffrey Armbruster wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:24 am
Andrew's friend's statement that "poetry sounds good but it doesn't mean anything"
My friend stated nothing - he isn't a member of this forum - I pretended to speak for him.
"any words that are not 100% concerned with perfect logic;" in other words, "it sounds good, but it doesn't mean anything."
This quote is my interpretation (and the second half of it is meant to be more flippant than the first half) of why he uses the word poetry to condemn poor reasoning in the context of a forum discussion
. The word "it", if you like, refers to "the argument you just offered" not to "poetry". I doubt very much if it would be his definition of poetry in every context.
If only all the world's forum contributors had jobs in the legal business!
The Romantic fallacy is something we all tend to suffer from nowadays, unless we have been trained not to, so perhaps my friend is merely addressing his audience?
I've got a feeling there's far more to this than has been said so far, but every piece of diffusion I perform will weaken what I say, so I'll end with some notes. Poetry is the tool, not the content (although I can picture you saying, No, it's the content! not realising that may be contradicting everything else you say). The content of Lear, apart from the arguments, the dialogues, is tragic drama. It happens to have been written in verse, not prose. I had a discussion once about Lear with a RADA graduate. We agreed it had things in it that didn't hang together (i.e. it contains less truth than you imagine) - Cordelia's wimpery, e.g. If I remember correctly, his comment was along the lines of "yes, Shakespeare needn't make any sense, but the secret to acting it is to plough through it with total conviction as though it made sense". In modern parlance, I suggest, this will suspend the audience's disbelief (an expression I hate because of all the fools who think it means you have to pretend it's good when it's bad)? BTW, I haven't read Lear for 40 years, so don't expect me to remember any details.
Poetry's intent: to communicate through verse Man's relationship to the world in which he lives.
I don't know about intent. Also you neglect the inadvertently ignoble things such as the transmission of cultural values that, rightly or wrongly, enable that culture to survive. Propaganda in modern parlance.
I'm poor on generalisation about the Classics. For example, the other day in a Pirates of the Caribbean commmentary I heard someone explain what a Greek chorus does. I started by thinking, I doubt I could say that in a nutshell. Then I thought, no, probably it's because every Greek chorus is different, and he's just quoting what Screenwriting 101 taught him. But originally poetry was the only form of communication, because it was oral communication and verse is easier to memorise than prose. It doesn't have to be good poetry, as oral poetry recordings in the Caucasus 90 years ago showed. But Homer was indeed a very special poet, albeit riddled with cultural values, not all good. Again, I refuse to try a succinct summary of Homer. (Greek) Prose was a tool invented by Ionian proto-scientific writers in the 6th c BC.
The more I say, the worse it will get, so to hell with it. I'm off to read Plautus.
Ha ha, learn to scan Plautus's Latin - that will teach you what poetry is!
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.