It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.



It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Never stop learning because life never stop Teaching

Monday, 19 November 2012

William WordsWorth Views on Imagination and Fancy ...

Wordsworth's Views on Imagination and Fancy

In order to understand Wordsworth's view on imagination, we have to go to his poems, and to his letter. In 'The Preface', the word occur first when Wordsworth tells us that his purpose has been to select incidents and situations from humble and common life and make them look uncommon and unusual by throwing over them a coloring of imagination. This clarifies that imagination is a transforming and transfiguring power which presents the usual in an unusual light. The poet does not merely present "image of men and nature" but he also shapes, modifies and transfigures that image by the power of his imagination. Thus imagination is creative; it is a shaping or 'plastic' power. The poet is half the creator; he is not a mere mechanical reproducer of outward reality, but a specially gifted individual, who, like God, is a creator or maker as he adds something to nature and reality. It is the imagination of the poet which imparts to nature, the 'glory and freshness of a dream', the light that never was on land and sea.

In making the poet's imagination a creative power, Wordsworth goes counter to the 'associationist' theories of David Hartley who had considerable influences on the poet. Hartley and other associationist psychologist thought that the human mind receives impressions from the external words, which are therein associated together to form images. In this way, the mind merely reflects the external world. But according to Wordsworth the mind does not merely reflect passively, it actively creates. At least, it is half the creator. Imagination is the active, creative faculty of the mind. As Florence Marsh points out, for Wordsworth imagination is a mental power which alters the external world creatively.
"It is a word of higher import, denoting operations of the human mind upon those objects and processes of creation or composition, governed by certain fixed laws."
It is through imagination that the poet realizes his kinship with the eternal. Imagination works upon the raw material of sense impressions to illustrate the working of external truths. It makes the poet perceive the essential unity of "man, God and Nature" while "the meddling intellect" of the scientist multiplies diversities.

Again, he tells that the poet is a man who thinks long and deeply, and so he can treat things which are absent as if they were present. In other words, the poet contemplates in tranquility the emotions which he had experienced in the past and through imagination can visualize the objects which gave rise to those emotions initially. Imagination is the mind's eye through which the poet sees into the 'heart of things' as well as into the past, the remote, and the unknown. It is imagination which enables the poet to render emotional experience, which he has not personally experienced, as if, they were personally felt emotions.

The power of imagination enables the poet to universalize the particular and the personal, and arrives at universal truths. Henry Crabbe Robinson describes the process in the following words:
"The poet first conceives the essential nature of his object, and then strips it of all casualties and accidental individual dress, and in this he is a philosopher; … he re-clothes his idea in an individual dress which expresses the essential quality and has also the spirit and life of a sensual object. And this transmutes the philosophic into a poetic exhibition."
Stressing the importance which Wordsworth attached to the role of imagination in the process of poetic creation, C M. Bowra writes:
"For him, the imagination was the most important gift that a poet can have, and his arrangement of his own poems shows what he meant by it."
The section which he calls, 'Poems of the Imagination', contains poems in which he united creative power and a special visionary insight. He agreed with Coleridge that this activity resembles that of God. It is the divine capacity of the child who fashions his own little world:
For feeling has to him imparted power
That through the growing faculties of sense
Doth like an agent of the one great Mind
Create, creator and receiver both,
Working but in alliance with the works
Which it beholds.
The poet keeps this faculty in his maturity, and through it he is what he is. But Wordsworth was full aware that mere creation is not enough, that it must be accompanied by a special insight. So he explains that the imagination,
Is but another name for absolute power
And clearest insight, amplitude of mind,
And Reason in her most exalted mood.
"Wordsworth did to go so far as the other Romantics in relegating reason to an inferior position. He preferred to give a new dignity to the word and to insist that inspired insight is itself rational."
It should be noticed that here Wordsworth calls imagination, "reason in her most exalted mood". It is a higher reason than mere reason. It is that faculty which transforms sense perceptions and makes the poet conscious of human immortality. It makes him have visions of the divine.

Wordsworth deals with imagination at much greater length in his Preface to the 1815 edition of the Lyrical Ballads. There he draws a distinction between Fancy and Imagination. Wordsworth's distinction between Fancy and Imagination is not so subtle and penetrating as that of Coleridge. According to Wordsworth, both Imagination and Fancy, "evoke and combine, aggregate and associate". But the material which they evoke and combine is different, and their purpose in evoking and combining is different. They differ not in their natures but in their purpose, and in the material on which they work. The material on which Fancy works is not so susceptible to change or so pliant as the material on which imagination works. Fancy makes things exact and definite, while Imagination leaves everything vague and indefinite

Rene Wellek's comment in this respect is illuminating and interesting:
"Both Wordsworth and Coleridge make the distinction between Fancy, a faculty which, handles, 'fixities and definites, and Imagination, a faculty which deals with the 'plastic, the pliant and the indefinite'. The only important difference between Wordsworth and Coleridge is that Wordsworth does not clearly see Coleridge's distinction between imagination as a 'holistic' and fancy as an 'associative' power and does not draw the sharp distinction between transcendentalism and associationism which Coleridge wanted to establish."

Friday, 16 November 2012

William Wordsworth's as a Romantic poet...


William Wordsworth's as a Romantic poet

William Wordsworth's poetry exhibits Romantic characteristics and for his treatment towards romantic elements, he stands supreme and he can be termed a Romantic poet on a number of reasons. The Romantic Movement of the early nineteenth century was a revolt against the classical tradition of the eighteenth century; but it was also marked by certain positive trends. Wordsworth was, of course, a pioneer of the Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century. With the publication of Lyrical Ballads, the new trends become more or less established. However, the reasons for why Wordsworth can be called a Romantic poet are given below:

Imagination: Where the eighteenth century poets used to put emphasis much on ‘wit’, the romantic poets used to put emphasis on ‘imagination’. Wordsworth uses imagination so that the common things could be made to look strange and beautiful through the play of imagination. In his famous “Intimation Ode", it seems to his as to the child "the earth, and every common sight" seemed "apparelled in celestial light". Here he says,

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light"

Moreover, in this poem, we find a sequence of picture through his use of imagery. Through his imagination he says,

The Rainbow come and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare"

Similarly, in the poem, “Tintern Abbey”, the poet sees the river, the stream, steep and lofty cliffs through his imaginative eyes. He was enthusiastically charmed at the joyful sound of the rolling river. Here he says,

Once again
Do I behold those steep and lofty cliffs
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion and connect
The landscape with quiet of the sky".

In this poem, the poet seems that the nature has a healing power. Even the recollection of nature soothes the poet's troubled heart. The poet can feel the existance of nature through imagination even when he is away from her. He says,

In lonely rooms and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensation sweet".

Nature: Wordsworth is especially regarded as a poet of nature. In most of the poems of Wordsworth nature is constructed as both a healing entity and a teacher or moral guardian. Nature is considered in his poems as a living personality. He is a true worshiper of nature: nature's devotee or high priest. The critic Cazamian says, "to Wordsworth, nature appears is a formative influence superior to any other, the educator of senses or mind alike, the shower in our hearts of the deep laden seeds of our feelings and beliefs". He dwells with great satisfaction, on the prospects of spending his time in groves and valleys and on the banks of streams that will lull him to rest with their soft murmur.

For Wordsworth, nature is a healer and he ascribes healing properties to Nature in “Tintern Abbey” . This is a fairly obvious conclusion drawn from his reference to "tranquil restoration" that his memory of the Wye offered him “in lonely rooms and mid the din/Of towns and cities"

It is also evident in his admonition to Dorothy that she let her
"Memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh !then
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief.
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations!”

Wordsworth says nature "never did betray the heart that loved her".

Subjectivity: Subjectivity is the key note of Romantic poetry. He expresses his personal thoughts, feelings through his poems. In “Ode: Intimation of Immortality” the poet expresses his own/personal feelings. Here he says that he can't see the celestial light anymore which he used to see in his childhood. He says,

It is not now as it hath been of yore;-
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By might or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see on more."

Nature becomes all in all to the poet. The sounding cataract haunted him like a passion. Nature was his beloved. He loved only the sensuous beauty of nature. He has also a philosophy of nature.

Pantheism and mysticism: Pantheism and mysticism are almost interrelated factors in the Nature poetry of the Romantic period. Wordsworth conceives of a spiritual power running through all natural objects- the " presence that disturbs me with the low of elevated thoughts" whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, the rolling ocean. the living air, the blue sky, and the mind of man (“Tintern Abbey”)

Humanism: The romantic poets had sincere love for man or rather the spirit of man. Wordsworth had a superabundant enthusiasm for humanity. He was deeply interested in the simple village folk and the peasant who live in contact with nature. Wordsworth showed admiration for the ideals that inspired the French Revolution. Emphasis in individual freedom is another semantic characteristic. Wordsworth laments for the loss of power, freedom and virtue of human soul.
Lyricism: Wordsworth is famous for simple fiction, bereft of artificialities and falsity of emotion. His "Lyrical Ballads" signifies his contention that poetry is the "history or science of feelings"

In the “Ode: Intimation of Immortality”, we see his lyricism. He writes,

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own:
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even, with something of a Mother's mind,
And, on unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Innate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

In the concluding part, it can be said that Wordsworth was a protagonist in the Romantic Movement which was at once a revolt and a revival. He shows the positive aspects of Romanticism with its emphasis on imagination, feeling, emotion, human dignity and significance of Nature.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

William Wordsworth As a Critic.

William Wordsworth As a Critic.

Wordsworth was primarily a poet and not a critic. He has left behind him no comprehensive treatise on criticism. The bulk of his literary criticism is small yet "the core of his literary criticism is as inspired as his poetry". There is the same utter sincerity, earnestness, passion and truth in both. He knew about poetry in the real sense, and he has not said even a single word about poetry, says Chapman, "which is not valuable, and worth thinking over".
Wordsworth's criticism is of far-reaching historical significance. When Wordsworth started, it was the Neo-classical criticism, which held the day. Critics were pre-occupied with poetic genres, poetry was judged on the basis of rules devised by Aristotle and other ancients, and interpreted by the Italian and French critics. They cared for rules, for methods, for outward form, and had nothing to say about the substance, the soul of poetry. Wordsworth is the first critic to turn from the poetry to its substance; builds a theory of poetry, and gives an account of the nature of the creative process. His emphasis is on novelty, experiment, liberty, spontaneity, inspiration and imagination, as contrasted with the classical emphasis on authority, tradition, and restraint. His 'Preface' is an unofficial manifesto of the English Romantic Movement giving it a new direction, consciousness and program. After Wordsworth had written, literary criticism could never be the same as before.
Wordsworth through his literary criticism demolishes the old and the faulty and opens out new vistas and avenues. He discards the artificial and restricted forms of approved 18th century poetry. Disgusted by the, "gaudiness and inane phraseology", of many modern writers, he criticizes poets who:
"… separate themselves from the sympathies of men, and indulge in arbitrary and capricious habits of expression, in order to furnish food for fickle tastes, and fickle appetites, of their own creation".
Discarding formal finish and perfection, he stresses vivid sensation and spontaneous feelings. He says:
"All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."
Scott James says:
"He discards Aristotelian doctrine. For him, the plot, or situation, is not the first thing. It is the feeling that matters."
Reacting against the artificiality of 18th century poetry, he advocates simplicity both in theme and treatment. He advocates a deliberate choice of subject from "humble and rustic life". Instead of being pre-occupied with nymphs and goddesses, he portrays the emotions of collage girls and peasants. There is a healthy realism in his demand that the poet should use, "the language of common men", and that he should aim at keeping, "the reader in the company of flesh and blood."
There is, no doubt, his views in this respect are open to criticism. Scott James points out, the flesh and blood and emotions of a townsman are not more profound. Besides, by confining himself wholly to rustic life, he excluded many essential elements in human experience. Thus, he narrowed down his range.
"His insistence on the use of a selection of language really used by men is always in danger of becoming trivial and mean."
There is also, no doubt, that he is guilty of over-emphasis every now and then, and that it is easy to pick holes in his theories. Coleridge could easily demolish his theory of poetic diction and demonstrate that a selection of language as advocated by Wordsworth would differ in no way from the language of any other man of commonsense.
All the same, the historical significance of his criticism is very great. It served as a corrective to the artificial and inane phraseology and emphasized the value of a simpler and more natural language. By advocating simplicity in theme, he succeeded in enlarging the range of English poetry. He attacked the old, outdated and trivial and created a taste of the new and the significant. He emphasized the true nature of poetry as an expression of emotion and passion, and so dealt a death blow to the dry intellectuality of contemporary poetry. In this way, he brought about a revolution in the theory of poetry, and made popular acceptance of the new poetry, the romantic poetry, possible.
Unlike other romantics, Wordsworth also lays stress on the element of thought in poetry. He has a high conception of his own calling and so knows that great poetry cannot be produced by a careless or thoughtless person. He says:
"Poems to which any value can be attached were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man who, being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility, had also thought long and deeply."
Poetic process is a complex one. Great poetry is not produced on the spur of the moment. It is produced only when the original emotion is contemplated in tranquility, and the poet passions anew.
Wordsworth goes against the neo-classic view that poetry should both instruct and delight, when he stresses that the function of poetry is to give pleasure, a noble and exalted kind of pleasure which results from increased understanding and sympathy. If at all it teaches, it does so only indirectly, by purifying the emotions, uplifting the soul, and bringing it nearer to nature.
The credit for democratizing the conception of the poet must go to Wordsworth. According to him, the poet is essentially a man who differs from other men not in kind, but only in degree. He has a more lively sensibility, a more comprehensive soul, greater powers of observation, imagination and communication. He is also a man who has thought long and deep. Wordsworth emphasizes his organic oneness as also the need for his emotional identification with other men.
We can do no better than conclude this account of the achievement of Wordsworth as a critic with the words of Rene Wellek:
"Wordsworth thus holds a position in the history of criticism which must be called ambiguous or transitional. He inherited from neo-classicism a theory of the imitation of nature to which he gives, however, a specific social twist: he inherited from the 18th century a view of poetry as passion and emotion which he again modified as … "recollection in tranquility". He takes up rhetorical ideas about the effect of poetry but extends and amplifies them into a theory of the social effects of literature … he also adopts a theory of poetry in which imagination holds the central place as a power of unification and ultimate insight into the unity of the world. Though Wordsworth left only a small body of criticism, it is rich in survivals, suggestions, anticipations and personal insights."

Thursday, 8 November 2012

john Donne

John Donne

John Donne was born in 1572 in London, England. He is known as the founder of the Metaphysical Poets, a term created by Samuel Johnson, an eighteenth-century English essayist, poet, and philosopher. The loosely associated group also includesGeorge Herbert, Richard Crashaw,Andrew Marvell, and John Cleveland. The Metaphysical Poets are known for their ability to startle the reader and coax new perspective through paradoxical images, subtle argument, inventive syntax, and imagery from art, philosophy, and religion using an extended metaphor known as a conceit. Donne reached beyond the rational and hierarchical structures of the seventeenth century with his exacting and ingenious conceits, advancing the exploratory spirit of his time.
Donne entered the world during a period of theological and political unrest for both England and France; a Protestant massacre occurred on Saint Bartholomew's day in France; while in England, the Catholics were the persecuted minority. Born into a Roman Catholic family, Donne's personal relationship with religion was tumultuous and passionate, and at the center of much of his poetry. He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities in his early teen years. He did not take a degree at either school, because to do so would have meant subscribing to the Thirty-nine Articles, the doctrine that defined Anglicanism. At age twenty he studied law at Lincoln's Inn. Two years later he succumbed to religious pressure and joined the Anglican Church after his younger brother, convicted for his Catholic loyalties, died in prison. Donne wrote most of his love lyrics, erotic verse, and some sacred poems in the 1590s, creating two major volumes of work: Satires, and Songs and Sonnets.
In 1598, after returning from a two-year naval expedition against Spain, Donne was appointed private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton. While sitting in Queen Elizabeth's last Parliament in 1601, Donne secretly married Anne More, the sixteen-year-old niece of Lady Egerton. Donne's father-in-law disapproved of the marriage. As punishment, he did not provide a dowry for the couple and had Donne briefly imprisoned.
This left the couple isolated and dependent on friends, relatives, and patrons. Donne suffered social and financial instability in the years following his marriage, exacerbated by the birth of many children. He continued to write and published the Divine Poems in 1607. In Pseudo-Martyr, published in 1610, Donne displayed his extensive knowledge of the laws of the Church and state, arguing that Roman Catholics could support James I without compromising their faith. In 1615, James I pressured him to enter the Anglican Ministry by declaring that Donne could not be employed outside of the Church. He was appointed Royal Chaplain later that year. His wife, aged thirty-three, died in 1617, shortly after giving birth to their twelfth child, a stillborn. The Holy Sonnets are also attributed to this phase of his life.
In 1621, he became dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral. In his later years, Donne's writing reflected his fear of his inevitable death. He wrote his private prayers, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, during a period of severe illness and published them in 1624. His learned, charismatic, and inventive preaching made him a highly influential presence in London. Best known for his vivacious, compelling style and thorough examination of mortal paradox, John Donne died in London in 1631.

Conceit in john Donne's poetry

Conceit in Donne's poetry

Many of John Donne's poems contain metaphysical conceits and intellectual reasoning to build a deeper understanding of the speaker's emotional state. A conceit can be defined as an extended, unconventional metaphor between objects that appear to be unrelated. Metaphysical conceit is a highly ingenious kind of conceit widely used by the metaphysical poets. It often exploits verbal logic to the point of the grotesque and sometimes creates such extravagant turns on meaning that they become absurd. The metaphysical conceit is characteristic of seventeenth century writers influence by John Donne, and became popular again in this century after the revival of the metaphysical poets. However, Donne is exceptionally good at creating unusual unions between different elements in order to illustrate his point and form a persuasive argument in his poems.
By using metaphysical conceits in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning", Donne attempts to convince his beloved (presumably his wife) that parting is a positive experience which should not be looked upon with sadness. In the first stanza, Donne compares the speaker's departure to the mild death of virtuous men who pass on so peacefully that their loved ones find it difficult to detect the exact moment of their death. Their separation must be a calm transition like this form of death which Donne describes. The poet writes,
"Let us melt, and make no noise"
Then we find another example of conceit which was not found in any poems of any poets before. Here he compares the two lovers to the pair of legs of compass. Like the compass they have one central point (love) and two sides (bodies) which note in a circle. Here he says,
"If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two,
Thy soule the fix foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the 'other doe"
Similarly, in the poem, "The Good-Morrow", we find some startling and shocking or fantastic conceits which had never before found. Here he says, the lover is a whole world to his beloved and she is a whole world to him, not only that they are two better hemispheres who constitute the whole world. Here the poet says,
"Where can we finde two better hemispheres,
Without sharpe North, without declining West?"
Again he says that as the four elements, earth, air, fire and water were supposed to combine to form new substance, so two souls mix to form a new unity. The strength and durability of this new unit is dependent upon how well the elements of the two souls are balanced, as we see from these lines from The Good-Morrow:
What ever dyes, was not mixt equally;
It our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.
In the poem "The sunne Rising" there are a lot of conceits in almost every stanza. The poet says that the lover can eclipse and cloud the sun with a wink . He says,
"I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke"
Again he says that the beloved lying in the bed by the lover's side is to his both west and East Indies; the beloved is all states and the lover is all princes. He says,
She's all states, and all Princes, I,
Nothing else is"
In the poem, "The Canonization", we find the use of conceit. Organic imagery is a strong point of this poem. In the second stanza, the poet says,
"Alas, alas. who's injur'd by my love?
What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?"
The poet assumes that a lover. ship have the power to drown ships, that his tears may flood the grounds, that his "colds" may bring about the season of winter, and that his "heats" may bed to the list of deaths by plague. (These are all fantastic hyperboles. The poet is, of course, mocking at the Petrarchan exaggeration). Then he says,
"We' are Tapers too and at our own cost die"
The beloved is one fly, the lover is another fly. And they are tapers too. In then are to be found the Eagle and the Dove. They provide a clue to the riddle of the phoenix because they are one representing both sexes. These are all fantastic conceits.
In the poem "The Extasie", we find conceits. Here he says that the souls of the lovers have left their bodies temporarily and are communicating with each other (like two armies facing each other). And the images of the two lovers in each other's eyes are regarded as the lovers "propagation" or the issue which they have produced. And the two souls of the lovers have become one and the resultant soul is abler or finer than each taken singly. Moreover, the bodies are spheres, and the lovers' minds or souls the intelligences which move the sphere.
In the poem "The Flea", we find another use of conceit where the Flea is thought to be their marriage temple as well as their marriage bed because it sucks a tiny drop of blood from the lover's and the beloved's body. And according to the poet it means that they two have got married. Here he says,
"Marke but this flea ,and marke in this,
Low little that which thou deny'st me is;
Mee it suck'd first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled bee;"
The killing of the flea will mean destroying three lives- those of the poet, his beloved and the insect. It will also be an act of sacrilege because a temple will be destroyed. He says that the beloved should surrender her body to the poet because she will, by doing so, lose just as little honour as the life she has lost by a drop of her blood having been sucked by the flea.
In summing up we can say that John Donne's poetry is abound with metaphysical conceits. Conceits are the effortless creation of John Donne. To him, conceits come to his poetry as leaves come to the tree. And for the use of conceits he stands supreme and mostly for such uses of conceit, he becomes the best metaphysical poet.

John Donne-- A love poet

John Donne-- A love poet

Donne was the first English poet to challenge and break the supremacy of Petrarchan tradition. Though at times he adopts the Petrarchan devices, yet his imagery and rhythm, texture and colour of his love poetry is different. There are three distinct strains of his love poetry – Cynical, Platonic and Conjugal love.

Giving an allusion to Donne's originality as the poet of love, Grierson makes the following observation:
"His genius temperament and learning gave a certain qualities to his love poems … which arrest our attention immediately. His love poems, for instance, do have a power which is at once realistic and  distracting."
Donne's greatness as a love-poet arises from the fact that this poetry covers a wider range of emotions than that of any previous poet. His poetry is not bookish but is rooted in his personal experiences. Is love experience were wide and varied and so is the emotional range of his love-poetry. He had love affairs with a number of women. Some of them were lasting and permanent, other were only of a short duration.

Donne is quite original in presenting the love situations and moods.

The "experience of love" must produce a "sense of connection" in both the lovers. This "sense of connection" must be based on equal urge and longing on both the sides.

"The room of love" must be shared equally by the two partners.

Donne magnifies the ideal of "Sense of connection" into the physical fulfillment of love.
"My face in thine eyes thine in mime appears"
This aspect of love helps him in the virtual analysis of the experience of love. Donne was a shrewd observer who had first hand knowledge of "love and related affairs. That is why in almost all his poems, he has a deep insight.

His love as expressed in his poetry was based not on conventions but on his own experiences. He experienced all phase of love – platonic, sensuous, serene, cynical, conjugal, illicit, lusty, picturesque and sensual. He could also be grotesque blending thought with passion.

Another peculiar quality of Donne's love lyrics is its "metaphysical strain". His poems are sensuous and fantastic. Donne's metaphysical strain made his reader confused his sincerity.

Donne's genius temperament and learning gave to his love poems power and fascination. There is a depth and rang of feeling unknown to the majority of Elizabethan poets. Donne's poetry is startlingly unconventional even when he dallies, half ironically, with the hyperboles of petrarch.

Donne is realistic not an idealistic. He knows the weakness of Flesh, the pleasure of sex, the joy of secret meeting. However he tries to establish a relationship between the body and the soul. Donne is very realistic poet.

Grierson distinguished three distinct strains in it. First there is the cynical strain. Secondly, there is the strain f conjugal love to be noticed in poems like "valediction: forbidding mourning". Thirdly, there is platonic strain. The platonic strain is to b found in poems like "Twicknam Garden", "The Funeral", "The Blossoms", and "The Primroses". These poems were probably addressed to the high-born lady friends. Towards them he adopts the helpless pose of flirtations and in high platonic vein boasts that:
Different of sex no more we know
Than our Guardian Angles doe
In between the cynical realistic strain and the highest spiritual strain, there are a number of poems which show an endless variety of mood and tone. Thus thee are poems in which the tone is harsh, others which are coarse and brutal, still other in which he holds out a making threat to his faithless mistress and still others in which he is in a reflective mood. More often that not, a number of strains and moods are mixed up in the same poem. This makes Donne as a love poet singularly, original, unconventional and realistic.

Whatever may be the tone or mood of a particular poem, it is always an expression of some personal experience and is, therefore, presented with remarkable force, sincerity and seriousness. Each poem deals with a love situation which is intellectually analyzed with the skill of an experienced lawyer.

Hence the difficult nature of his poetry and the charge of obscurity have been brought against him. The difficulty of the readers is further increased by the extreme condensation and destiny of Donne's poetry.

The fantastic nature of the metaphysical conceits and poetry would become clear even we examine a few examples. In "Valediction: Forbidden Mourning" true lovers now parted are likened to the legs of a compass. The image is elaborated at length. The lovers are spiritually one, just as the head of the compass is one even when the legs are apart. One leg remains fixed and the other moves round it. The lover cannot forget the beloved even when separated from her. The two loves meet together in the end just as the two legs of the compass are together again, as soon as circle has been drawn.

At other times, he uses equally extravagated hyperboles. For example, he mistakes his beloved to an angel, for to imagine her less than an angle would be profanity.

In Donne's poetry, there is always an "intellectual analysis" of emotion. Like a clever lawyer, Donne gives arguments after arguments in support of his points of view. Thus in "Valediction: Forbidden Mourning" he proves that true lovers need not mourn at the time of parting. In "Canonization" he establishes that lovers are saints of love and in "The Blossome" he argues against the petrarchan love tradition. In all this Donne is a realistic love poet.

John Donne-- A metaphysical poet

John Donne-- A metaphysical poet

Dryden once remarked:
"Donne affects metaphysics not only in his satires but in amorous verses, too, where nature only should reign."

Though Donne was influenced by the sixteenth and the seventeenth century poets, yet he did not tread on the beaten track. His concept of poetry was unconventional. In his poetry, intellect takes the form, primarily, of wit by which heterogeneous ideas are yoked together by violence. The seventeenth century poets labeled his poetry as 'strong line poetry', mainly, on account of his concise expression and his deliberate toughness. In his life, he was never called a metaphysical poet. After his death, his poetry was re-evaluated and some other important features were found in it, which won the name of a metaphysical poet for Donne.

Grierson's defines metaphysical poetry as:

"Poetry inspired by a philosophical concept of the universe and the role assigned to human spirit in the great drama of existence".

This definition is based on the metaphysical poetry of Dante, Goethe and Yeats. So "metaphysical" is applicable to poetry who is highly philosophical or which touches philosophy.

Combination of passion and thought characterizes his work. His use of conceit is often witty and sometimes fantastic. His hyperboles are outrageous and his paradoxes astonishing. He mixes fact and fancy in a manner which astounds us. He fills his poems with learned and often obscure illusions besides, some of his poems are metaphysical in literal sense, they are philosophical and reflective, and they deal with concerns of the spirit or soul.

Conceit is an ingredient which gives a special character to Donne's metaphysical poetry. Some of his conceits are far-fetched, bewildering and intriguing. He welds diverse passions into something harmonious.

"When thou weep'st, unkindly kinde,
My lifes blood doth decay."

"When a teare falls, that thou falst which it bore,"
"Here lies a she-sun and a he-moon there"

"All women shall adore us, and some men."
His approach is based on logical reasoning and arguments. He provides intellectual parallels to his emotional experiences. His modus operandi was "to move from the contemplation of fact to a deduction from it and, thence, to a conclusion". He contemplates fidelity in a woman but, in reality, draws it impossible of find a faithful woman.

"No where
Lives a woman true, and faire."

He does not employ emotionally exciting rhythm. His poetry goes on lower ebb. Even his love poems do not excite emotions in us. Even in a "Song" while separating, he is logical that he is not parting for weariness of his beloved.

"But since that I
Must dye at last, 'tis best,
To use my selfe in jest
Thus by fain'd deaths to dye;"

His speculations and doctrines are beyond common human experience. His ideas are beyond the understanding of a layman and are a blend of intellect and emotions making his approach dialectical and scholastic. He asks his beloved in "The Message" to keep his eyes and heart because they might have learnt certain ills from her, but then, he asks her to give them back so that he may laugh at her and see her dying when some other proves as false to her as she has proved to the poet.

Donne was a self-conscious artist, therefore, had a desire to show off his learning. In his love poetry, he gives illustrations from the remote past. In his divine poems, he gives biblical references like the Crucification.

"Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?"
"Get with child a mandrake roote."

"But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall."
Metaphysical poetry is highly concentrated and so is Donne's poetry. In "The Good Morrow", he says

"For love, all love of other sights controules."
"For, not in nothing, nor in things
Extreme, and scatt'ring bright, can love inhere."

"Hee that hath all can have no more."
His poetry is full of arguments, persuasion, shock and surprise. Instead of conventional romantic words, he used scientific and mathematical words to introduce roughness in his poetry; e.g. he used the words 'stife twin compasses', 'cosmographers', 'trepidation of the spheres' etc.

His style is highly fantastic, curt and he uses rough words. He rejects the conventional style which was romantic, soft and diffused.

Paradoxical statements are also found in his poems. In "The Indifferent" Donne describes constancy in men as vice and ask them:

"Will no other vice content you?"

In "The Legacy" the lover becomes his own 'executor and legacy'. In "Love's Growth" the poet's love seems to have increased in spring, but now it cannot increase because it was already infinite, and yet it has increased:

"No winter shall abate the sring's increase."

He deals with the problem of body and soul in "The Anniversarie" of the individual and the universe in "The Sunne Rising" and of deprivation and actuality in "A Noctrunall". In his divine poems he talks about the Crucification, ransom, sects / schism, religion, etc.

Donne is a coterie poet. He rejects the Patrarchan tradition of poetry, adopted by the Elizabethans. The Elizabethan poetry was the product off emotions. He rejected platonic idealism, elaborate description and ornamentation. He was precise and concentrated in poetry while the Elizabethan are copious and plentiful in words.

Seventeenth century had four major prerequisites; colloquial in diction, personal in tone, logical in structure and undecorative and untraditional imagination, which were also present in Donne.

To conclude, he is more a seventeenth century poet than a metaphysical poet. There are some features in his poetry which differentiate him e.g. he is a monarch of with and more colloquial than any other seventeenth century poet. If other seventeenth century poet bring together emotions and intellect, he defines emotional experience with intellectual parallels etc. Still he writes in the tradition of the seventeenth century poets.

Monday, 5 November 2012

What is jazz?

What is jazz?

Jazz is America's classical music.Jazz is a 1992 historical novel by pulitzer and Nobel prize winning  American auther Toni Morrison.

The majority of the narattive takes places in Harlem durin the 1920s, however, as the pasts of the various characters are explored , the narrative extends back to the mid 1800s American south.

jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United states.It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions.

Jazz is an original American art form that began in the southern United States in the early 20th century. Two basic elements set this art form apart from classical music: Improvisation and Rhythm.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

sylyia plath

sylyia plath

sylyia plath was born in Jamaica plain, Massachusetts, the older child of Otto and Aurelia Schoeber Plath.
Har father was Professor of German and entomology (a spcialist on bees) at Boston University.
Her Mother  was a high school teacher , was his student.Both parents valued learning.
In 1940 Otto died of Complications from surgery after a leg amputation, and Aurelia's parents became part of the household to care for the cildren when she returned to teaching.

Sylvia's interests in writing and art continued through her public school years in Wellesley, Massachussetts, and at Smith College, Where she attended on scholarships.


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