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Poetry in language
Posted by: buddy (210.5.124.---)
Date: August 01, 2004 09:39AM

Ei, i have a question here:

If poetry is one of the earliest form of literature, how come contemporaRY people:

a>) do not speak in poetic language or think metaphorically?
b>) find poetry challenging?


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 10:24AM

Your assumptions are false, everyone uses similes and metaphors all the time. And, you imply everyone finds poetry easy, certainly untrue. Worse yet, your if - then syllogism doesn't follow logically.


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 01, 2004 10:37AM

Here are some metaphorical expressions we use everyday:

You're putting the cart before the horse.

You're on the wrong track.

You're barking up the wrong tree.


Les


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 11:08AM


a) how come contemporaRY people:

a> do not speak in poetic language or think metaphorically?

i. ordinary language is made of metaphor:
…..Strangely, there are theories of language that suggest that our language, ordinary language, is metaphor upon metaphor, like the proverbial Hindu, world, elephants on elephants, all the way down. We only speak in metaphors from the 'in' of 'in metaphors' to 'quick as a bunny' to all the other little Anglo-Saxon connectives running through the veins of your every phrase.

ii. The Etymon:
…..Think also of each word or phrase as the living relative of all the words it took the place of -- modern wife from A-S Wif, for woman, in general, -- every word’s a word museum, a living relic, etymologically.

iii. Epistemology=knowledge:
…..Our knowledge of the outer world , Greek, episteme, takes the place of the world it represents, metaphorically -- we are always one step away from what we are talking about, so knowledge is metaphor, one word is used to represent another [word, world] in ordinary speech..

iv. The poetry of the written [spoken] language
…..Ordinary language, then, is always metaphorical and always full of poetry. Why do you think you and I can write poetry at all, even before we recognize ourselves as poets. Ezra Pound, 'translating' Fenollosa's translation of 'The Chinese Character as a Medium for Poetry,' gives us a poet's understanding that poetry inhabits the very way a script [Chinese ideograph] can show its own origins, and be a way to write poetry. Etymology in alphabetic scripts serves this same function, so we can look into our language, or the history of how words go from language to language, taking their origin language with them...French became English, for instance, four times in history this way, Latin, English twice.
…..Ordinary writing is filled with the possibility of poetry, and has been since the Proto-Indo-European tribesmen before the Snskrt scholars themselves.
-.-.-.-.-. .-.-.-.-.-
As to b) above, ‘how come contemporaRY people:...do not
b) find poetry challenging?’

i. Why should poetry be an exception to everything else we find?
In modern day life? isn't everything in our lives challenging?

ii. Or, could it be that the 'ordinary' treatment of poetry as if it were strange and unfathomable or extraordinary shows
the reader's failure
to recognize poetic speech
to be quite as natural
as their 'natural' way to speak, --
so-called straightforward,
'just the facts, m'am' ,
reduction of words to their piratical,
utilitarian use
in place of the rich
array of 'uses' available
in the simplest context.

Pass me the salt, I'm about to pass out.
The bones of that cliché are still rattling in your metaphor.
But, what's a meta-for?
Or,
Lucies turn on Linus’ ‘Does that make sense?’ see atta[t]chment: [Classic Peanuts]

Peter,



shalom, Good question.




********************************************
ok, so it really isn’t peanut butter.
Was that a real poem, or did you just make it up? – Bob Creeley


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 11:12AM

a) how come contemporaRY people:

a> do not speak in poetic language or think metaphorically?

i. ordinary language is made of metaphor:
…..Strangely, there are theories of language that suggest that our language, ordinary language, is metaphor upon metaphor, like the proverbial Hindu, world, elephants on elephants, all the way down. We only speak in metaphors from the 'in' of 'in metaphors' to 'quick as a bunny' to all the other little Anglo-Saxon connectives running through the veins of your every phrase.

ii. The Etymon:
…..Think also of each word or phrase as the living relative of all the words it took the place of -- modern wife from A-S Wif, for woman, in general, -- every word’s a word museum, a living relic, etymologically.

iii. Epistemology=knowledge:
…..Our knowledge of the outer world , Greek, episteme, takes the place of the world it represents, metaphorically -- we are always one step away from what we are talking about, so knowledge is metaphor, one word is used to represent another [word, world] in ordinary speech..

iv. The poetry of the written [spoken] language
…..Ordinary language, then, is always metaphorical and always full of poetry. Why do you think you and I can write poetry at all, even before we recognize ourselves as poets. Ezra Pound, 'translating' Fenollosa's translation of 'The Chinese Character as a Medium for Poetry,' gives us a poet's understanding that poetry inhabits the very way a script [Chinese ideograph] can show its own origins, and be a way to write poetry. Etymology in alphabetic scripts serves this same function, so we can look into our language, or the history of how words go from language to language, taking their origin language with them...French became English, for instance, four times in history this way, Latin, English twice.
…..Ordinary writing is filled with the possibility of poetry, and has been since the Proto-Indo-European tribesmen before the Snskrt scholars themselves.
-.-.-.-.-. .-.-.-.-.-
As to b) above, ‘how come contemporaRY people:...do not
b) find poetry challenging?’

i. Why should poetry be an exception to everything else we find?
In modern day life? isn't everything in our lives challenging?

ii. Or, could it be that the 'ordinary' treatment of poetry as if it were strange and unfathomable or extraordinary shows
the reader's failure
to recognize poetic speech
to be quite as natural
as their 'natural' way to speak, --
so-called straightforward,
'just the facts, m'am' ,
reduction of words to their practical,
utilitarian use
in place of the rich
array of 'uses' alwaysavailable
in the simplest context.

Pass me the salt, I'm about to pass out.
The bones of that cliché are still rattling in your metaphor.
But, what's a meta-for?

Are you ac-dc?
Or,
Lucy'ss turn on Linus’ ‘Does that make sense?’ see atta[t]chment: [Classic Peanuts]

All metaphor, allthe time, from downtown Burbank.


Peter,



shalom, Good question.




********************************************
ok, so it really isn’t peanut butter.
Was that a real poem, or did you just make it up? – Bob Creeley


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 11:32AM

Here are some metaphorical expressions we use everyday:

You're putting the cart before the house.

You're on the wrong rack.

You're barking up the wrong garage.


after Les...Les, howcome my atta[t]ments are still getting lost in cyper-space. I just attached a classic charlie brown to my note and when I look at what's been sent, poof, --through the magic of modern science [and my inemptitude]--it's gone.

amo,

Peter

Hey, Hugh, go get 'em...no, I still haven'y found a way to get the ole emule to let me sign on at all, just get 'your id and psswod' do not match....sorry, sidetracked again...get back on the right track, hey, a terriffic minefield of a question, though.

**********************************************
Is that real peanut butter, or is it just a banana in your hand?


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 12:20PM

It's only the earliest form of literature because it was worth writing down


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: lg (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: August 01, 2004 01:48PM

howcome my atta[t]ments are still getting lost in cyper-space

Peter, this website does not allow large files to be downloaded. You can either "zip" the file, or create a link to it from an outside source.



I still haven'y found a way to get the ole emule to let me sign on at all

As I said in a previous post, it will only recognize one "Peternsz", at a time. If you log in as "nsz-Peter", or something else which doesn't begin with the exact same letters which you are using now, then you should be ok. Bear in mind that once you begin the registration process, you must finish it in one session, or the program will remember you and make you change your name again the next time you attempt to "finish" registering.


Les



Post Edited (08-01-04 13:58)


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 04:18PM

Your technical advice is more than welcome. I'll try to keep both bits of information where I can find them, in my forum file.

For a new person, I sure do draw on stranger's patience a lot. I hope I can move into the background a bit, so you can devote more of your attention to your own writing. Thanks again, it's of service.

Peter


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 07:05PM

everyone uses ... metaphors all the time

Undoubtedly true now.

I am told however (though not enough of a classical scholar to verify it) that there are no examples of metaphor in old latin literature. Elaborate similes certainly, but no metaphors. It seems that those ancient Romans, who achieved so much in soldiering, engineering, law-making, administration and empire building, even the countless historians, letter writers, playrights and poets among them, were of a very practical bent. They took things literally and called a spade a spade. Presumably they had no sense of irony either.

If metaphor is not a ubiquitous offshoot of language, I wonder where it originated as a part of modern thought and expression. From ancient Greek? Maybe the fables of Aesop laid the ground for metaphorical ways of thinking. I wouldn't know whether there are metaphors in the Icelandic sagas, or in Anglo-Saxon epics such as Beowulf.

Maybe it is Celtic. The prehistoric 'Song of Amhergin' (?Amergin or Amerghin) appears to be a long string of metaphors, at least in modern translation.

Does anyone know?

Ian


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 01, 2004 10:42PM

Try [www.txclassics.org] />
13. metaphor: expression of meaning through an image

Horatius est lux litterarum Latinarum. ("Horace is the light of Latin literature.")

Peter :-)


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: buddy (210.5.123.---)
Date: August 01, 2004 10:45PM

Hello!
I just want to clarify my second question:
I asked ...how come contemporary people find poetry challenging?
I did not asked how come they do not find poetry challenging!
Thanks for the infos...


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 02:15AM

They are taught in the public school that they can't under stand one or both miracles of being human: poetry and/or mathematics,-- thus being denied two blessings, two subtleties, two adventures -- by that little social voice they adopt (we adopt) that voice into their beings which whispers in the night: you can't, you can't, you can't.

amo,

Peter


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 10:27AM

Yes, Peter, that Latin phrase you have quoted is an example of metaphor, but is it a quote from any classical author?

The website doesn't name any source for any of the phrases given on it to illustrate various literary devices. I haven't seen any of them before. To me they all have the ring of being made up by the Latin teacher. Nothing wrong with that method of teaching of course, but it's not the same as finding examples in the classical texts.

I'll cheerfully admit I'm mistaken if someone can confirm the classical author of 'Horatius est lux litterarum Latinarum'.

Ditto for 'Catilina est mons vitiorum' ('Catiline is a mountain of vices') - item 10 on that website. It doesn't sound like Cicero to me, but I could be wrong.


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 02, 2004 12:23PM

Why do people find poetry challenging? Partly in the way it's usually taught- that there's a 'hidden meaning', and that it must be analyzed. Partly because people are more likely to turn on the television rather than pick up a book. Partly because they don't see it/haven't been exposed to it as something to enjoy.

You could argue (and we have in the past) that music lyrics can be poetry. Certainly Dr. Seuss' works are poetry- we just don't think of them that way.

pam


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 01:06PM

You know, when I first looked at the cite, I thought much the same as you do, and I have many of the same doubts you express. I admit it has never occurred to me to try to test the hypothesis/assertion which Latin tropes were actually Latin, rather than, say Renaissance reconstructions, etc. The cure, I think, is, more research, through texts and hypertexts, for us to find some of the Classical rhetoricks themselves, and see what they actually say for topoi, tropes, figures from treatises and actual examples in Latin texts, looking for talk of metaphors. My own Latin reaches only to Caesar's Gallic Wars, so I probably won't be that much help with original texts...maybe Hough Clary might help you there. Counter-intuitive claims can also sometimes turn out to be most productive, if not fruitful, whether they be true or no, just because they get us thinking in a new way. See what 'Classical Latin Rhetoric--metaphor' might get you Googoooooled.

Goooodl'ck,

Peter


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 01:12PM

to Pam Adams

we just don't think of them that way.--and it’s sometimes finding that way, finding out what that way is, that is the twist is of lemon in the tea.


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Desi (---.grecian.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 01:54PM

Everyone can sing a bit, but in order to TALK about singing and music, you need to learn some kind of vocabulary. Just to make sure you actually understand each other. And to make it easier to talk about (you just use one term, instead of trying to explain, e.g. what a metaphor is).

So, do people find the poetry hard, or the terminology used?

And even if the poems are found hard, there are easy ones. Just as not all music is easy. You have gradations.

Is this a homework assignment by the way? Or are you just curious? And what do you think, now you've had some feedback? Do you agree with us or not? Why?


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 03:57PM

Gradations, that's it, we wish you graditions of Yeat's "Beauty is diffucult."
Then you can speak it, understand its difficulty.

shalom,

Peter


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Desi (---.grecian.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 04:11PM

I must say Peter, that I generally do not have problems understanding poems, but your posts are an entirely different matter. Do you give courses for dummies like me? ;-)


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 05:31PM

there are no examples of metaphor in old latin literature.

When a woman weeps, she is setting traps with her tears. Dionysius Cato

The same night awaits us all. Horace

Time is generally the best doctor. Ovid

Let your hook always be cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish. Ovid

As a twig is bent the tree inclines. Virgil


Re: Poetry in language
Posted by: Desi (---.grecian.net)
Date: August 02, 2004 06:12PM

Well, metaphor is a greek word (meaning transfer in ancient greek), and it is used in Homer's work. (an homeric metaphor). So, to come back to another subject, of course the romans stole that along with the rest of greek culture and then set out to improve it. (I don't know if they actually succeeded) Virgil uses a lot of metaphors, for example.




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