Saturday, January 12, 2013

QUESTION 3 from 1973 (Because the past wants to know what we think.)

This is one I haven’t heard anyone ask for a while.  Maybe it’ll be interesting? (Even with its desire to totalize the experience of poetry [making it, I guess, unanswerable]. But sit with it. The second question here tries to focus it down a bit, in a kind of interesting way.)


Do poetry and music and painting tend to screen or protect people from experience, or tend to stimulate them and awaken them into a deepening of that experience? Do you think that this screening or stimulating can be compatible in the same work?  Can there be an effective deepening and widening and an almost scary sort of unsettling in the poem, as well as a certain kind of elusive protectiveness inculcated by the work, too?



At 1/13/2013 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Of course.

At 1/13/2013 4:22 PM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

I like the last question a lot. I dislike the first question, varieties of which I hear quite a bit, because it ignores that poetry, music, etc. ARE experience themselves. Anyone who looks at, say, the Ode to Joy through the prism of whether it screens/stimulates from experience is missing the point.

At 1/15/2013 8:10 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


Indeed. it seems pretty odd that there was an either/or aspect to that, without even the nod that art itself is an experience, a thing in the world.


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