Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Chapter Eight – The Internalization of Music

by Jacques Maritain


Poetic Intuition and the beginning of a wordless musical stir—The music of intuitive pulsions—The transmission of poetic intuition through the poem—Classical poetry and the music of words—Modern poetry and the internalization of music—A parenthesis about the critic—Purposive Comparison and Immediately Illuminating Image

Larger Work

Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry

Publisher & Date

Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1953

Poetic Intuition and the Beginning of a Wordless Musical Stir

1. When Albert Béguin, in his essay on "Poésie et Mystique,"1 speaks of the images which "ascend from the depths of the being and compose a song" not yet expressed in words, he points out something which is, I think, common experience among poets. Thus a remarkable fact, on which I should like to lay stress, is the fact that the very first effect, and sign, of poetic knowledge and poetic intuition, as soon as they exist in the soul—and even before the start of any operative exercise—is a kind of musical stir produced in the depths of the living springs in which they are born. It is of the utmost importance, I believe, to distinguish between the musicality of the words (even inner words not yet externally uttered)—and that musical stir, linked with poetic intuition itself, of which I am now speaking and in which the words play no part. By itself it precedes, at least as to natural, if not always as to chronological priority, the outpouring words, and we must consider it apart and for its own sake.

A kind of musical stir, of unformulated song, with no words, no sounds, absolutely inaudible to the ear, audible only to the heart, here is the first sign through which the presence of poetic experience within the soul is recognized.2 How can we try to give account of this fact? If all our preceding analyses are true, we can say, it seems to me, that on the one hand we have an actual flash of knowing—poetic experience, poetic intuition—born, through spiritualized emotion, in the preconscious, nonconceptual life of the intellect. On the other hand, we have a spiritual milieu—a kind of fluid and moving world, activated by the diffuse light of the Illuminating Intellect, and seemingly asleep but secretly tense and vigilant—which is this preconscious life of the intellect, and of the imagination and of emotion, empty of any actual concept or idea, but full of images and full of emotional movements, and in which all the past experiences and treasures of memory acquired by the soul are present in a state of virtuality. It is within this fluid and moving milieu that poetic experience and poetic intuition exist, not virtually, but as an act or actuation definitely formed.

How would it be possible that they would not awaken and stir this vital milieu, and produce, as it were, waves in it? Poetic intuition expands in it, and this expansion comes about in time, wave after wave. This is a kind of primal expression, though in no way by means of words: a merely psychic, so to speak congenital expression, which originates in the indivisible unity of the poetic intuition. I submit that in the relationship between this indivisible unity of the poetic intuition and the successive partial units of its expansion or expression in its own vital milieu a kind of music is involved.

At this point I should like to introduce a new concept, which seems to me necessary but for which it is not easy to find a name—I would say dynamic charge or intuitive pulsion,3 both imaginal and emotional. Each of the partial units of which I just spoke is a complex of virtual images and emotion, stirred in the fluid and moving world of the creativity of the spirit, and essentially tendential, dynamic, and transient. This complex I call a dynamic charge or intuitive pulsion, awakened by poetic experience under the activating light of the Illuminating Intellect. None of these various pulsions is a total expression of the poetic intuition, all of them essentially depend on its indivisible unity. Between them there is movement and continuity. And this moving continuity between partial units (which originates in the indivisible unity of poetic intuition, and through which poetic intuition passes) is nothing but a meaning set free in a motion: that is to say, a kind of melody—in the state of a source, a primeval melody—this word being taken in a merely analogical sense, having in no way to do with sounds, but only with inaudible psychic charges of images and emotion. At the moment of which we are now speaking, at the moment of the initial expansion which is one with the existence of the poetic intuition, the images involved in the pulsions are almost unconscious and imperceptible, only in a nascent state; and the emotion involved is the very emotion, spiritualized and intentional, through which the poetic intuition arises, and which now begins to awaken- emotional overtones. Such is, as I see it, the musical stir immediately produced by poetic experience and poetic intuition.

The Music of Intuitive Pulsions

2. But the expansion of the poetic intuition in its vital milieu develops, and at the same time the intuitive pulsions also expand and become more and more distinct; explicit images awaken, more distinct emotions resound in the fundamental emotion. Then there is in the soul of the poet an enlarged musical stir, a music no longer almost imperceptible, but more and more cogent, in which the soundless rhythmic and harmonic relations between intuitive pulsions, together with their soundless melody, emerge into consciousness. This enlarged musical stir is the spontaneous start of operative exercise; with it the process of expression begins, in a first transient and tendential stage. Yet this music is still an inaudible music—not the music of the words, but the music of the intuitive pulsions, within the soul. Mallarmé alluded to it, I think, when he wrote: "Le chant jaillit de source innée, antérieure a un concept, si purement que refléter au dehors mille rythmes d'images";4 and Coleridge too, when he insisted that " 'The man that hath not music in his soul' can indeed never be a genuine poet."5

O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
What this strong music in the soul may be!

But it is not enough to speak of the "music in the soul," or, as Carl-Gustav Carus put it, of "that song," which is a "wondrous confidence o the Unconscious to the Conscious," and which is "feeling."6 We must try to look more closely at the "innate source," and to understand how

Music is feeling then, not sound.7

As a matter of fact, if we know the existence of this inaudible music, within the soul of the poet, it is because in listening to the poem—especially to "modern" or post-Baudelaire poems—a similar music is awakened within our own soul. Yet I am not following now the order of discovery, but that of logical exposition, and so I am obliged to speak of the poet before speaking of the poem and of the one who listens to it. Furthermore I am confronted with a special difficulty, because I am dealing with something which I must look for behind the words, as if I were in the presence of the emotional movements within the imagination of the poet, before the production of words: well, no philosophical analysis is possible in this domain without such an effort at introspective reconstruction.

Here, then, we have, I think, a first stage, merely imaginal and emotional, in the expression of poetic experience. It is transient and tendential, it tends to verbal expression, and as a matter of fact it may now and then take place at the same time as the outpouring of words and their "arrangement on the paper" (or the arrangement of colored spots on the canvas, or the arrangement of sounds on the score), which is the second and final stage. Yet my contention is that these two stages in poetic expression are distinct in nature, and that the transient expression through those natural signs which are the imaginal and emotional pulsions comes first, and precedes in nature the expression through those social signs which are the words of the language.

3. As a result, I would say that there are two essentially distinct musics, in the designation of which the word music has only an analogous sense, the music of the intuitive pulsions, within the soul, and the music of words—and of the imagery contained in words8—which will pass outside the soul into the external world: as there are two essentially distinct stages in poetic expression, the transient expression through the intuitive pulsions, and the final expression through the words. All this is given, in one sense. For poetic intuition is given. And poetic intuition gives the transient expression through intuitive pulsions; and poetic intuition gives the final expression through words. But with the first stage of poetic expression the operative exercise has already started; and as soon as the operative exercise starts, the virtue of art begins to be involved. Already in the first stage of poetic expression, through intuitive pulsions, intelligence is on the alert, only, I mean, to listen, to listen to poetic intuition, and to what is given by it, the music of imaginal and emotional pulsions; and it may happen, now and then, that at the same time the first line of the future poem is also given.

In the second stage of poetic expression—through words—intelligence is on the alert more than ever; it listens both to poetic intuition and to the music of intuitive pulsions, and it waves aside—among all the words spontaneously emerging from the unconscious—everything which is not consonant with this primary rule.

Let us observe at this point that the intuitive pulsions are, as it were, partial and secondary sparks of intuition depending on the central poetic intuition, and awakened in the poet's mind all along the road to creation with its various accidents. And they can be minute emotional-imaginal charges, toward which the poet turns in need of one single line or one single word. Here again the primary task of creative intelligence is, as we have said, a task of choice between the words spontaneously offered.  But in this second stage, and in proportion as the process of production develops, creative intelligence is also at play as working reason, accomplishing a properly so-called artistic task, applying the secondary rules of making, taking care of the arrangement of words, weighing and testing everything. Here all the patience and accuracy, all the virtues of craftsmanship are involved, and intelligence works and works again, takes up the task anew, uses all that it knows, displays the most active sagaciousness to be true to its own superior passivity, to the indivisible inspiring actuation received—poetic intuition and wordless meaning or melody—to which it does not cease listening.9 And this effort of supreme loyalty can be resumed even after years.

For the poem is an object made of words, the most ungrateful and treacherous material—sounds which are poor in color and variety, signs which are worn out by social use, haunted by swarms of adventitious associations, and stubbornly fixed in the least connotations of their meaning. The more transcendent is the inner revelation—ineffable in itself, contained in the poetic intuition, within the creative night of the poet's soul—which a work of words has to express through signs and symbols, in irritating the senses and seducing reason—the more exacting and, as it were, crucifying is the task imposed on the virtue of art. No one is expected to do the impossible; that is what the poet is required to do.

The Transmission of Poetic Intuition through the Poem

4. We are now in a position, it seems to me, to tackle another issue, which I touched on at the end of the preceding chapter, and which has to do with the poem no longer as proceeding from its creative sources in the poet, but as perceived by, and acting on, the one who reads it or listens to it.

Here I should like to observe, in quite a general way, that the poem is essentially an end, not a means. An end as a new creature engendered in beauty; not a means as a vehicle of communication. "The one all-sufficing motive for a great poet's singing is that expressed by Keats:

I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies.

Precisely so. The overcharged breast can find no ease but in suckling the baby-song."10

The poetic intuition demands to be objectivized and expressed in a work. It is enough that the work exists, that this kind of a world is created. The fact that it makes the poet communicate with other human beings, even the fact that it is seen, or listened to, is in itself an effect of superabundance, terribly important for the poet, for he is a man, but additional with respect to the prime essential requirement of poetry. And in the last analysis it is fortunate for the poet. For if the prime essential aim were for him to be understood, to have the experience and vision of his heart completely conveyed to, and genuinely received by others, he would be the most unhappy of men. "On est toujours seul," Picasso said.

Yet the effect of superabundance of which we just spoke, the function of conveying something to men, as additional as it may be, plays, in actual fact, a secondary but crucial and necessary role. And it is absolutely essential from the point of view of the reader, or the listener. What is it which is thus conveyed? Since the work is the final objectivization of poetic intuition, what the work tends finally to convey to the soul of others is the same poetic intuition which was in the soul of the poet: not precisely as creative, but as cognitive, both of the subjectivity of the poet and of a flash of reality echoing the world. Any poetic work is a revealer. A good work delights the sense and the intellect, but the radiance, in its beauty, is first of all the radiance of the ontologic mystery grasped by the intuition of the poet; then, when the work strikes the eyes of another, it causes a communication of intuition, a passage from creative intuition to receptive intuition.

Of course a great many things, and often the most important, the dearest to the poet, are lost and wasted in the process. Furthermore, because of the ambiguity essential to existence and to any great existential achievement, the significance of the work is larger in one sense, and more diversified, in the minds of men than in the mind of its author; a great work lives a life of its own throughout generations—admired, detested, forgotten, rediscovered; and the facets of its message are perpetually changing. What matters is that something be perceived of what was contained, even virtually, in the inexhaustible intuition from which it proceeds. And it is our good fortune if the smallest bit of it is really conveyed to us. Then we may experience somewhat the truth of Shelley's flaming sentence: "Poetry arrests the vanishing apparitions which haunt the interlunations of life, and veiling them or in language or in form, sends them forth among mankind, bearing sweet news of kindred joy to those with whom their sisters abide—abide, because there is no portal of expression from the caverns of the spirit which they inhabit into the universe of things."11

The fact remains, in any case, that not only those who glancing at a work expect from it a mere pleasurable mirroring of their own customary feelings, habits of thought and trite perceptiveness simply live in barbarous parts, but also that a mere external contemplation of a work, appreciating its qualities even with trained intelligence and aesthetic discernment, but from the outside, remains on the threshold of poetry. We must listen to the interiority of the work and to the poetic sense, be open to what it conveys, let ourselves be attracted by the magnetic ring of which Plato spoke. And this requires a sort of previous, tentative consent to the work and to the intentions of the poet—without which we cannot be taken into the confidence of the poem.

Now what we receive when we make ourselves thus open is not a participation in the subjectivity or the subjective feelings of the poet. The process of which I am speaking is quite different from such a kind of Einfuhlung. We keep our identity, we are not interested in commingling ourselves with the self of another; a mixing of subjectivities is by no means attractive—it would be a kind of spiritual unchastity. We are even more interested in what the poet has grasped in things than in his grasping of himself (which however was the most important thing for him). What we receive, though it may be partially or deficiently, is an intellectual gift,12 participation in the poetic knowledge and poetic intuition through which the poet has perceived a certain unique mystery in the mystery of the world; then, it is true, since poetic intuition is knowledge through emotion, we receive a participation in the poet's emotion—not in his feelings, I mean, but in his spiritualized and intentional emotion, in his emotion as causing to see. We receive a transient and incomparable knowing, a vision, a fleeting revelation. And thus it is that it can be said, as C. E. M. Joad puts it: "In the appreciation of music and pictures, we get a momentary and fleeting glimpse of the nature of that reality to a full knowledge of which the movement of life is progressing. For that moment, and so long as the glimpse persists, we realize in anticipation and almost, as it were, illicitly, the nature of the end. We are, if we may so put it, for a moment there, just as the traveler may obtain a fleeting glimpse of a distant country from an eminence passed on the way, and cease for a moment from his journey to enjoy the view. And since we are for a moment there, we experience, while the moment lasts, that sense of liberation from the urge and drive of life, which has been noted as one of the characteristics of aesthetic experience."13

Classical Poetry and the Music of Words

5. How then, is poetic intuition thus conveyed? I do not intend to discuss this problem in all its aspects, I should like only to emphasize a point which is of special importance for me: that is, the internalization of music as manifested to us by modem poetry.

In order to make things clearer, I shall consider, in a purposely oversimplified manner, first, the case of a classical poem as produced by the poet; second, the case of the same poem as perceived by the reader.

Let us bring our attention to bear on the general structure of the activity of the mind. As we saw in a previous chapter, its various functions envelop one another. Yet in relation to our purpose, and as regards the prevailing influence at play, three different regions or areas can be distinguished in this activity. First, the region of the Preconscious life of the Intellect, where poetic intuition is born. Second, the region of the Imagination. Third, the region of Conceptual and logical Reason.

Now let us consider our first case, the production of the classical poem. Near the center of the soul, on the verge of the spiritual preconscious, poetic experience is awakened, poetic intuition has captured in things a flash of reality, and points to it. Then a first expression, with no words or concepts, comes about in the region of the imagination, through those natural signs which are the intuitive pulsions, both imaginal and emotional.

All this is common to modem and classical poetry. But, in classical poetry, when it comes to the second stage in expression, the expression by words—the creative impulse enters the sphere of authority of conceptual reason, and conceptual reason claims its rights to sovereignty. The intuitive content which puts pressure on the poet must be translated into concepts, and this translation into concepts must comply with the absolute primacy of the rational connections and the logical objectivity to be expressed through the signs of this social instrument which is language. A set of conceptual units rationally assembled is built in order to communicate notions. The classical poem, thus, is, if I may put it so, a bound (logically bound) form; and it is necessarily clear, the intelligible sense which is an element of the poetic sense is explicit intelligible sense. Furthermore, the first stage in expression, the expression through the music of intuitive pulsions, has been most often repressed and superseded by the sovereign claims of the rational expression and the conceptual unfolding, which prevent this inner music from being conveyed by the words.14

6. In our second instance, we have the reader confronted with this poem. And let us remember that, according to the old saying of Logicians, words signify concepts and concepts signify things. The reader is confronted with a work of words which signify, through concepts subjected to the sovereignty of rational connections and logical objectivity, a definite set of things, standing as objective realities before the mind—for instance a lamp which is shattered, a cloud scattered, a lute broken, and a love forgotten—or the fact that a girl named Rose Aylmer had all gifts and died. Well, if this were all, where would be the difference between poetry and a piece of information—a piece of information which, moreover, would let the essentials escape? It is not this definite set of things that the poem is intended to signify, this definite set of things is only a means, and an intermediary, even an obstructive intermediary. Far beyond it, what the poem signifies is the flash of reality to which the poetic intuition points, and which it has captured obscurely in the mystery of the world, for instance the unique pity of Rose Aylmer's death as intuitively grasped by Walter Savage Landor, or the frailty of love as intuitively grasped by Shelley. Thus, in reality, the reader is confronted with a work of words which signifies, first, as an intermediary, and through concepts subjected to the primacy of logical connections, a definite set of things standing as objects of thought—and second, as the final aim, a mysterious flash of reality which has been grasped without concept and which concept can express. How can the reader be made aware of this second signification, the true signification of the poem? Only by being brought back toward the original intuition. And this can be accomplished only through a magnetic, supraconceptual power, which is the music of the words (including that of the proffered notions and images) strong enough to overcome the obstacle created by the intermediary signification, the definite set of things, and to put the eyes of our logical reason to sleep, and to lead us, captive, to a participation in the poetic intuition which was born in the spiritual night of the preconceptual activity of the poet.

Ah, what avails the sceptred race,
Ah, what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
Rose Aylmer, all' were thine.

Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep, but; ever see,
A night of memories and of sighs
I consecrate to thee.15

When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies dead—
When the cloud is scattered
The rainbow's glory is shed.

When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remembered not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.16

Thus it is that the music of words is of absolute necessity for the classical poem; and together with the music of words, the rhyme, and all the prosodic requirements of a regular form. All these laws and exigencies are but the instruments of liberation of the poetic sense.

Let us take another instance, say Blake's "The Sick Rose." The original music of intuitive pulsions is merely latent, it has been repressed by the weaving of rational expression; but the music of the words is there, and does the whole job.

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Modern Poetry and the Internalization of Music

7. Let us read now a modern poem—I choose at random—for instance some lines from "The Hollow Men": 16a

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
It is like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

Modem poetry has undertaken completely to set free the poetic sense. In the double signification of the poem, it endeavors to extenuate, if possible to abolish the intermediary signification, this definite set of things whose presence is due to the sovereignty of the logical requirements of the social signs of language, and which is, as it were, a kind of wall of separation between the poetic intuition and the unconceptualizable flash of reality to which it points. The poem is intended to have, not a double, but a single signification—only this flash of reality captured in things.

Thus, in our third case, the case of the production of the modem poem, the poet is intent on the intuitive pulsions stirred by poetic intuition in the region of the imagination. There, in the preconscious life of the intellect, the images, instead of being used for the birth of ideas in the process of abstraction, are moved and quickened by poetic intuition, under the light of the Illuminating Intellect: and the unconceptualizable intelligibility involved in poetic intuition passes through them in an intentional or immaterial manner, so that they are made into the vehicles of an intelligible meaning, which will never terminate in a concept, and can remain implicit, even sometimes undetermined, but still is an intelligible meaning, capable of obscurely touching and moving the intellect. And it is from the imaginal-emotional pulsions, and the intelligibility conveyed by the images, that the poet receives the supreme organizing law of his words; it is with respect to these pulsions that he makes concepts and words connected with one another. He sometimes even completely dispenses with explicit concepts, and passes immediately from the images to the words.

Yet this is a particular case, and modern poetry is in no way concerned with being merely imagist poetry. It uses concepts, not only implicit concepts carried along by the images, but explicit concepts as well, and highly abstract concepts, and so much the better if its concepts are loaded with the richest content of thought! But the supreme law of expression is no longer the law of rational and logical connections, it is the law of the inner connections between intuitive pulsions, and of the unconceptualized intelligibility of which the images quickened by poetic intuition are the vehicles. Even in the clearest modern poem, in which the expression develops along pure rational channels, the secret law which commands everything remains the law of obedience to the movement of intuitive pulsions, the verbal expression remains ceaselessly sustained and permeated by the experience of this inner emotional and imaginal movement. And this is still more apparent in the many poems which do not develop along pure rational channels. In any case the sovereignty has shifted from the rational connections to the experiential and internal ones. Let us say, then, that now the poem is a free form, I mean not logically bound, and it may be clear but it may also be obscure, that is, involving a merely implicit, even undetermined intelligible meaning.

8. And thus, when it comes to our fourth instance—the case of a modern poem as perceived by the reader—the reader is confronted with a work of words which does not signify first a definite set of things—the wall of separation has fallen. The poem signifies only the unconceptualizable flash of reality obscurely grasped in the mystery of the world by the intuitive emotion of the poet.

The words, which signify no longer concepts subjected (as is normal in science) to the sovereignty of rational connections and logical objectivity—and which, therefore, signify no longer things as a set of objective realities standing before the mind—the words now signify concepts (implicit or explicit concepts) and images (images carrying explicit or implicit intelligible meaning) as obeying the law of intuitive pulsions, and connected together with respect to intuitive pulsions. And thus the words immediately bring the reader back to the inner music of the intuitive pulsions stirred in the imagination of the poet, and finally, through this music, to a participation in the poetic intuition naturally expressed by this music. For there there is music, as I pointed out at the beginning. And this inner music plays its essential part in classical as well as in modern poetry with respect to the birth of the poem in the soul of the poet. But with respect to the expression it remained most often unexpressed in classical poetry, because it was displaced, repressed, or obliterated by the royal law and privilege of the rational expression, and was replaced by the music of words. Now, on the contrary, the music of intuitive pulsions appears in the foreground, it is revealed in full, it has become the royal instrument of poetic expression. The reader immediately listens to it, and in his soul are awakened intuitive pulsions akin to those in the poet's soul. There has been a reversion, or introversion; poetry cannot do without music, but the primary role has shifted from the music of words to the internal music of the intuitive pulsions. Such is that internalization of music which I wanted to point out. I do not believe that without modern poetry we could have become fully aware of the importance of this inaudible, wordless, and soundless music.

It is easy, I think, to verify such observations if we read modern poets,17 exercising at the same time our power of introspection, and paying attention not only to the words but to what they produce within ourselves.

Here again we must first invoke Baudelaire, who, as I observed in the preceding chapter, seems to speak the language of classical poetry, and who in reality has already changed everything, by virtue of the exceptional force of his gaze turned inwards, and of his extraordinary power of intellectualization of sensuality, bringing everything back toward the internal sources. There are sometimes surprisingly platitudinous and prosaic pieces in his lines:18 they pass unnoticed; they do not matter. The visible form of the poem is eclipsed by the violence of the intuition. At the same time, the rhythm of the charges of intuitive emotion has been made absolutely prevalent.19

I find a similar prevalence of the music of intuitive pulsions in all the poems I quoted in the Texts for this chapter under heading I.

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine/
Et nos amours./

I am gall, I am heartburn./
God's most deep decree
Bitter would have my taste./
My taste was me./

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown/
Till human voices wake us/
And we drown./

I have put division marks in these lines, not to stress the scansion, but to indicate the dynamic charges or intuitive pulsions with which they are laden, and to beg the reader to lend himself to an experiment, and to listen within himself, each time, to the awakening of these soundless, purely mental units of image and emotion.

In the following lines of Yeats (from "The Blessed") there is, it seems to me, a simple melody of intuitive emotional charges, each one expressed in one line:

And blessedness goes where the wind goes,/
And when it is gone we are dead;/
I see the blessedest soul in the world/
And he nods a drunken head./

In other lines of Yeats ("After Long Silence"19a), there is a more complex harmony. After a brief pulsion comes a long cadence of five lines, in which other pulsions are involved, as integral parts of one single motion. And then two final pulsions mysteriously one. The whole rhetorical movement of the poem is but the expression of the complex internal movement and music of all these imaginal-emotional pulsions:

Speech after long silence;//
it is right,
All other lovers being estranged or dead,/
Unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,/
The curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,/
That we descant and yet again descant
Upon the supreme theme of Art and Song://

Bodily decrepitude is wisdom;//
We loved each other and were ignorant.//

9. To sum up, I would say that a poem is an engine to make us pass through or beyond things, and that the process of spiritual production and, consequently, the structure of such an engine are typically different in classical and in modem poetry. This I have taken the liberty of expressing by means of two diagrams, for those readers (if there are any) who are fond of this innocent hobby. Of course these diagrams make things more absolute and more sharp-edged than they are in reality. I think nevertheless that in both cases they point to the essential directions.

The first diagram refers to classical poetry.

Diagram 1

It represents, first, the process of spiritual production of the poem in the mind of the poet (area I being that of the Preconscious life of the Intellect; area II, that of the Imagination; area III, that of Concepts and Reason); second, the structure of the poem; third, the reality attained. And, in the fourth place, the thick line is a symbol of the return movement, or of the significance of the poem, as conveying to the mind (no longer of the poet, but of the reader) the reality attained by the poet.

Creative intuition (1) in search of expression passes mainly through full-grown and definitely formed images (2)—what we called in Chapter IV the externals of imagination—and through concepts existing under the regime of the logos (3) (the images are even, more often than not, sought and picked up to illustrate explicit concepts after the latter have been elicited).

The poem aims to express and signify the transreality (R2) caught by creative intuition, but in order to do so it must use the instrumentality (and the screen) of definite things which stand as objects of thought (R1), and are signified by logically organized concepts. The work of words, bound to this logical organization, has, thus, a double signification (R1 and R2), the first of which (R1) belongs to the realm of rationalized and socialized communicability. To compensate for this extrapoetic burden, the music of the words is of absolute necessity.

Finally the poem is also subjected to a double regulation. The first regulation is that of creative intuition and of the secondary rules of the making which are at the service of creative intuition. The second regulation is that of the regular form of the poem.

Our second diagram refers to modern poetry.

Diagram 2

This time, creative intuition in search of expression is not bound to pass through reason-dominated concepts and full-grown images which have been logically organized. The creative process is free to start developing in the nest of dynamic unity of image and thought where the music of intuitive pulsions takes place, and where emotion and nascent images are pregnant with virtual intelligibility. Creative intuition (1) passes mainly through those spiritual germs which are the intuitive pulsions (2) through preconceptual images (3) and through concepts (4) which, whether explicitly formed, or just emerging from mother images, are subject to the regime of imagination more than to their own logical regime.

The poem signifies only the transreality (R) caught by poetic intuition, without being bound first to signify a definite set of things standing as objects of thought. It has, thus, one single significance, which has to do with poetic intelligence, not with rationalized and socialized communicability. St. Paul says that those who are unmarried have only a single care, how they may please God, having not to please a wife or husband too.20 So the virgin poem tends to its unique object without division.

The music of the words, still necessary as it may be, yields the foremost place to another, more internal, music. Music is pushed back inwardly. What matters essentially now is the music of intuitive pulsions, which passes into the work of words freely—without being repressed or obliterated by the exigencies of the logos—and to which the reader in his turn is taken by this work of words.

Finally the poem is subjected to one single regulation—that of the creative intuition and of the rules of the making which are at the service of creative intuition. The form of the poem is free, which does not mean free from any rule, but free from any regular pre-established pattern.

10. Thus it is that modern poetry had to dispense with the regular form of the poem, and the necessity of the rhyme, and the other requirements of classical prosody. Modern poetry is bound to obey more exacting laws and rules, for they are free and contingent rules, depending at each moment on the correctness of the ear, and on the fact of each and every word, measure and period in the poem being exactly in tune with the soundless music stirred by poetic intuition within the soul. "These mysterious rules," as Cocteau puts it, "are with regard to the old rules of versification what ten games of chess played at once are with regard to a game of dominoes."21

Even modern poetry often dispenses, or believes it dispenses, with the music of words. In so doing, either it searches in reality for a tougher, not pleasurable, broken music, but still music, or it loses and gets clear of an indispensable element, because it believes that the music of words prevents or masks the pure expression of the inner pulsions of images. This is only an effect of too weak a power in the poet himself. For the music of words is in the work of words the necessary response of the words to the inaudible music stirred by poetic intuition. In the best modern poems, this internal music is all the more expressed and cogent as the music of words is purer and truer.22

Although, in classical poetry, which was too talkative, as a rule, the sovereign claims of rational expression and conceptual unfolding most often left unexpressed the music of the intuitive pulsions, this internal music, nevertheless, found expression at the most radiant moments—rare indeed, at least in French classical poetry—and in great poets it was muted or made far away rather than completely repressed. Sometimes it even risked escaping our inattentive mind only because it was too perfectly fused with, and expressed by, the music of words. Such is the marvel of some famous lines of Racine:

Ariane, ma soeur, de quel amour blessee
Vous mourutes aux fiords ou vous Rites laissee22a

or of Webster:

Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle; she died young.

Let it be observed, to avoid any misunderstanding, that the fact of modern poetry's being primarily concerned with the intuitive pulsions of images and emotion, and overlapping, so to speak, the area of sovereignty of conceptual reason, means in no way that modern poetry is a merely affective and sensory poetry. For this fact has to do only with poetic expression. The richness in thought, in intellectual knowledge, in rational depth, may be as great in modern poetry as in classical poetry. It is expressed otherwise, through freer and more intuitive means, that's all.

I have said that in its process toward expression modern poetry has freed itself from the sovereignty of the logical organization of concepts. I do not mean that it is empty of concepts, and sweeps away concepts from the mind! Here I should like to insist on what I have already pointed out. The intellect cannot do without concepts. On the one hand, in the very process of expression, there are concepts, either concepts in a nascent state, and virtual, as it were, carried along by the images; or implicit, unapparent concepts, serving only as supports for the expression of images;23 or concepts which are explicit and used with their full intellectual meaning: in any case, and this is the essential point, they remain indispensable instruments of meaning, but they are no longer the masters of the work, and in this sense they have all been dethroned; poetic expression does away with their well-off descriptive garrulity, as well as with the necessity of making prevalent their own regime of rational articulation and logical objectivity. On the other hand, before the process of poetic expression, and with respect to that knowledge which is previous to poetic knowledge, a modern poet is as full of concepts, right or wrong, as a classical poet. They are part of the treasure of memory which is present, in a virtual state, in the preconscious life of the intellect, and which is used by poetic intuition.

A Parenthesis about the Critic

. To finish this discussion of the poem as perceived by man, or the poem as speaking to the reader, I should like to add a few words about the critic. In the second chapter I quoted the passage where Baudelaire declares that it would be unnatural, a kind of monstrosity, for a critic to become a poet. But Plato, quoted in another chapter, insists that any rational criticism is null and void if the critic has not first been attracted by the rings of inspiration, and invaded by the same madness which is in the poet. The critic must perceive much more purely and deeply than the ordinary reader all that which, conveyed by the poem, makes contact, intuitively, with the creative intuition of the poet. In other words, the critic is a poet, and has the gifts of a poet, at least virtually. Before judging of the work as to its ways of execution he must discover the creative intentions from which it proceeds and the more secret things which stirred the soul of its author. He must be able to receive "instantly" the "immortal wound" of which Robert Frost once spoke.

Baudelaire was dealing with a figment of the mind, a critic who would be possessed only of the critical gifts, that is, who would not be really a critic. The whole question comes down to the greater or lesser development of reflective faculties. There are critics, it is true, and remarkable critics, who are unable to compose a poem: poetry in them has migrated to their critical work. Charles Du Bos, whom I consider the greatest of French critics, was obliged to give up, after some vain attempts, even the idea of any creative work: I am sure he was a poet, and admirably gifted; but poetic activity had been paralyzed by a prodigious development of the reflective faculties.

I do not forget, for all that, that in some writers, who are simply deprived of the poetic gift, criticism is but "the satisfaction of a suppressed creative wish."24 But I insist that such writers are not really critics. "Their reaction is that of the ordinary emotional person developed to an exceptional degree." "The reading sometimes fecundates" their "emotions to produce something new which is not criticism, but is not the expulsion, the ejection, the birth of creativeness."25 In other words, they are abortive critics, just as they are abortive poets.

Purposive Comparison and Immediately Illuminating Image

12. I have discussed the question of the internalization of music and the notion of intuitive pulsion, both imaginal and emotional. A particular problem dealing with the images remains to be examined.

"The image," John Crowe Ransom writes, "cannot be dispossessed of a primordial freshness, which idea can never claim. An idea is derivative and tamed. The image is in the natural or wild state, and it has to be discovered there, not put there, obeying its own law and none of ours. We think we can lay hold of image and take it captive, but the docile captive is not the real image but only the idea, which is the image with its character beaten out of it."26 Poetry, especially modern poetry, manages to have the image's character not beaten out of it.

As was observed at the beginning of Chapter IV, there are for the images three possible states or existential conditions. First, they can be part of the "externals of the imagination"—I mean engaged in the ordinary quotidian, and more or less superficial life of the imagination as centered on sense perception and the needs of our conscious daily activity, as well as of our rational knowledge of the external world (Category number one).

Second, they can be part of what we called the automatic or deaf unconscious, where they are cut off from the intellect and engaged in the structures and dynamism of the separate world in which instincts, repressed memories and tendencies, dreams, and libido lead a life of their own (Category number two).

Third, they can be part of the preconscious life of the intellect in which they are illuminated by the Illuminating Intellect—either to be used in the genesis of concepts and abstract ideas or to be stirred and activated by poetic intuition (Category number three). The problem I should like to take up deals with the metaphoric use of images, considered from this particular angle.27 Here again, I believe, we are indebted to modern poetry for a new awareness of an old truth.

Let us refer to the statement of Reverdy which is cited in the Texts for this chapter and which is of special interest for French modern poetry; French poets paid great attention to it, at the time it was written. Unfortunately, while pointing to something he felt to be decisively important, Reverdy expressed himself rather obscurely, and neglected to define what he meant by the word comparison. "The image," he says, "is a pure creation of the mind; it cannot be born from a comparison, but from the bringing together of two realities more or less remote from one another." But is not any comparison such a bringing together? Where is the difference? I think that in this statement, and when he goes on to say that the poet creates "a strong image, new for the mind, by bringing together without comparison two distant realities whose relationship has been grasped by the mind alone," he understands, by the word comparison, a purposive comparison brought about by looking for similarities already given in nature—in other words, the act of seeking among things, in order to illustrate an idea, a reality whose concept is naturally joined with this idea (for both are united in a more general concept): as the concept of youth and the concept of spring, for instance, are united in the more general concept of rising vitality. In other words, the bringing together was already done in nature (or rather in the concepts brought out from nature), and the mind does not "create" it, rather it takes notice of it.

There are, thus, two typically different ways of using images metaphorically.

On the one hand, there is the way of logical thought. We know a thing in a concept: for instance the fragility of worldly felicity. Then, in order to illustrate or clarify this object known, and definitely formed or expressed in our mind, or to make it more easily communicable, we look at our inner world of ready-made images (in Category number one, images organized in view of our rational knowledge of the external world); and we pick up among these images another thing which participates in the same common idea of fragility, say glass, the fragility of glass. And we say that the first thing is like the second.

Et comme elle a l'eclat du verre
Elle en a la fragilite.28

That is what I call purposive comparison. Everything, here, comes about at the level of the externals of reason and the externals of the imagination. The comparison takes place between two things known, each one expressible and expressed on its own account; it brings one thing already known near to another thing already known, in order better or more strikingly to express the former, by superimposing the latter on it. Poetry, of course, may use such a way of expression. But of itself this purposive comparison is a rhetorical mode pertaining to the discursus of reason; not a creative mode pertaining to the intuitive ways of poetry.

On the other hand, there is the intuitive way of poetry, the way of the preconscious, nonconceptual activity of the intellect. Poetic intuition is born in this preconscious activity, it involves an obscure, emotive knowledge, ineffable and unconceptualizable in itself. It stirs the intuitive pulsions, both imaginal and emotional, of which I spoke at the beginning, so as to make its mysterious content known or seen in a manner, and brought to consciousness. The images thus stirred are themselves in a state of fluidity—not organized but movable by every wind—and part of the preconscious life of the spirit. They are images in Category number three, illuminated by the diffuse light of the Illuminating Intellect, and instruments for some intelligibility to be brought out—while keeping their own wild life, beneath the threshold of the abstractive process of formation of ideas. Thus an image is seized upon as the vehicle of some intelligible meaning, radiating from poetic intuition, and in being expressed in a word, it conveys this intelligible meaning and makes a certain thing intelligibly, though not conceptually, grasped. As when Yeats said:

The winds that awakened the stars
Are blowing through my blood.29

Here we may observe that the image is rationally, or astronomically, rather questionable, for in nature no star has ever been awakened by any wind. But this is precisely, I think, a confirmation of my point. Yeats did not write, and could not have written, according to the classical pattern: "Just as the winds awakened the stars" (one term in a purposive comparison), "so, etc." (the other term in a purposive comparison).30 In reality his image was not taken from the facts of astronomy and the externals of the imagination, it came from the preconceptual imagination, and was used only, irrespective of any truth already known about the winds and the stars, to make known and expressed something which is not even named, say, the poet's passionate exaltation. And so it is all the more meaningful.

Be it added that of course it is not only with respect to the central creative intuition, it is also with respect to any particular intuitive pulsion, any fleeting flash awakened during the production of the work and dealing with any of its parts, minute as it may be, that the images can be used in this way. Thus it is for instance that in order to make known and expressed what is totally singular and conceptually inexpressible in the deliciousness of having "nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air," Melville wrote: "There you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal."31

That is what I call the immediately illuminating image, without the intermediary of any concept—illuminating because it is illuminated both by the Illuminating Intellect and by poetic intuition or spark of intuition. Everything, here, comes about in the depths of the preconceptual life of the intellect and the imagination. Two things are not compared, but rather one thing is made known through the image of another. One thing already known is not brought near to another thing already known. One thing which was unknown32—only contained in the obscurity of emotive intuition—is discovered, and expressed, by means of another already known, and by the same stroke their similarity is discovered: all that, as Reverdy put it, as a result of the creativity of the spirit. The second thing (the warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal, or the winds that awakened the stars) is brought near the first (what is ineffable, and not yet made known, either in the snugness of the sleeper or in the exaltation of the poet) not because both are the objects of two concepts naturally joined together, but because, in the preconscious ocean of images, the image of the second thing has been moved and lifted by the common activity of emotive intuition and the Illuminating Intellect, in search of an intuitive expression for some pressing and obscure intelligibility. And just because it is a question of making intelligible something still unexpressed, in this primeval nebula where nothing is ready-made, but everything is to be engendered and the spirit is in travail; because the whole operation comes about irrespective of the conceptual organization of things according to their natural similarities, but only with respect to the intuitive power of the intellect, the fact that the two things brought together are naturally distant from one another, and that their bringing together is utterly new, and fresh, and unforeseeable, is but a natural effect of this free power of the intellect—not of any deliberate effort of the will and frowning research. Thus, to quote another example of which, I believe, Mr. Blackmur is particularly fond,33 could Miss Marianne Moore speak of

The lion's ferocious chrysanthemum head.

13. I have considered what is, to my mind, the prime and most genuine way in which the immediately illuminating image arises—I mean as drawn by poetic intuition from the ocean of images which are part of the preconscious life of the spirit and connatural instruments of the Illuminating Intellect. Now it must be added that, in a secondary or complementary way, all images, from whatever region of the imagination they may come, either from the externals of the imagination (our Category number one) or from the automatic unconscious (our Category number two), may play the role in question, from the moment when, and on the condition that, in emerging into consciousness they are touched and quickened by the creative activity of the intellect and of poetic intuition. Then they are furnished from outside the native place of poetic activity, but poetic activity makes them its own. It may even happen that a poet appropriates to himself images born outside himself, in the mind of another person who may perhaps be nothing of a poet. In this other person they were only wandering images, with only potential, no actual poetic meaning or value. But once the poet's intellect lights upon them, they may become for him really poetic or immediately illuminating images. If I am not mistaken, Hart Crane, in "Emblems of Conduct," availed himself of the gift of the last lines written by Samuel Greenberg, in a hospital bed before his death. The objection may be raised, no doubt, that Samuel Greenberg himself was a poet. But he was another poet, whose images Crane appropriated, this is my point. Moreover we may turn to the case of insane persons, and to the interest that poets take sometimes in their writings and in the images which arise in them.

To complete our observations, on the immediately illuminating image, we might note that in using this way of expression, and in conveying through it some intuitive pulsion to our own conscious or preconscious powers, poetry can follow two different paths. Either the words, though possibly endowed with the purest musical quality, will be as simple and naked as possible, so that only their meaning, not their own sonorous structure, is the vehicle of the image:

Je suis seul sur la lèvre tremblante du rivage
Seul sur le roc glissant des fièvres de la mort.34

Or they will be rich and elaborated words, and their own sonorous structure will have an essential part in the expression of the image. Such is the case, I think, with Hopkins' poems.

Or a jaunting vaunting vaulting assaulting trumpet telling.35

I assume that the poets who prefer the second path are those whose poems I characterized above as "difficult" rather than "obscure," and who dream of raising words to a supreme power of significance, by reason of their inherent dignity.36

Was I more able than Reverdy to make clear the distinction between purposive comparison and immediately illuminating image? I have no doubt, in any case, about its importance. And what seems to me particularly noticeable is the fact that we are confronted here, not with any merely technical difference, but with a difference which depends on the very manner in which the vitality of the powers of the soul is at play.

Modern poetry, by the fact of its particular approach to images and to intuitive pulsions, and by the fact that most often it does not express the thing itself which calls forth the image, but only suggests it through the image, obliges us to become aware of this difference. This in no way means that it is new in itself. I think that what I call the immediately illuminating image has been the instrument of all great poets. Is it necessary to quote Dryden:

while within your arms I lay,
The world fell mould'ring from my hands each hour,37

or to stress the powerful spontaneity which despite the discursive and symmetrical form runs through Blake's "A Divine Image"? And what could not be said of Shakespeare and Dante! All their lines are permeated with the force of the immediately illuminating image. When Dante describes the yellow of the eternal rose, or when he shows us Leah—the active life—moving her fair hands around to make herself a garland, while her sister Rachel—the contemplative life—

non si smaga
del suo miraglio, e siede tutto giorno,

when Shakespeare writes:

She looks like sleep,
As she would catch another Antony
In her strong toil of grace,

or makes King Lear exclaim:

But I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that my own tears
Do scald like molten lead,

it is not the purposive comparison, it is the immediately illuminating image which is at work.

The question, moreover, does not concern only poetry. I have previously pointed out the part that the illuminating image—analogically understood—similarly plays in painting.38 And what about the remarks made in this chapter on the internalization of music, and the notion of intuitive pulsions? These remarks also apply to painting, mutatis mutandis. If a picture possesses that quality of "melody" of which Baudelaire spoke, it is, in the last analysis, by reason of the music of intuitive pulsions which the painter's vision and his creative intuition have awakened in the preconscious regions of his mind. The picture brings us back to this inner music at one go, simultaneously—not in the successive way proper to music or poetry. But the wordless song that develops within us, while we are dreaming in the contemplation of the work, is, I believe, the main and deepest factor in our emotion.


1. Albert Béguin, Gerard de Nerval, suivi de Poésie et Mystique (Paris: Stock, 1936), p. 110.

2. "Ce chant qui sans être encore formule se compose au fond de l'âme-et qui demande a passer plus tard an dehors, a être chanté, voila on se reconnait l'expérience poétique proprement Bite, des l'ori gine orientée vers l'expression." Raissa Maritain, "Magie, Poésie, et Mystique," Situation de la Poésie (Paris: Desclee De Brouwer, 1938), p. 63.

3. The word "pulsion" is not commonly used in English or in French, although it is listed in The Shorter Oxford Dictionary. I am taking the liberty of appropriating it for my own ends, because I cannot find a better word to designate the kind of mental wave or vibration, charged with dynamic unity, of which I am speaking here.

4. Undated letter to Charles Morice (Mondor, Propos sur la Poésie, Paris: ed. du Rocher, 1946, p. 164). (Italics mine.)

5. Biographia Literaria, Ch. XV. Coleridge goes on to say: "The sense of musical delight, with the power of producing it, is a gift of imagination; and this together with the power of reducing multitude into unity of effect, and modifying a series of thoughts by some one predominant thought or feeling, may be cultivated and improved, but can never be learned. It is in these that poeta nascitur non fit."

6. "Tout ce qui travaille, trée, agit, souffre, fermente et couve dans la Nuit de notre time inconsciente—tout ce qui s'y manifeste, dune part, dans la vie de notre organisme, d'autre part dans les influences que nous recevons des autres times et de l'univers entier— . . . tout cela monte, avec un accent tout particulier, de la nuit inconsciente a la lumiere de la vie consciente; et ce chant, cette merveilleuse confidence de l'Inconscient au Conscient, nous l'appelons: sentiment." Carus, Psyché (Pforzheim, 1846), pp. 263-64: French trans. by Albert Béguin, L'Ame romantique et le Nye (Marseille: Cahiers du Sud, 1937), Vol. I, p. 252.

7. Wallace Stevens, "Peter Quince at the Clavier."

8. "In the plays of Shakespeare a musical design can be discovered in particular scenes, and in his more perfect plays as wholes. It is a music of imagery as well as sound." T. S. Eliot, The Music of Poetry (Ker Memorial Lecture; Glasgow: Jackson,1942), p. 25.

9. Interesting indications in this regard can be found in Allen Tate's remarkable reflective analysis of his own "Ode to the Confederate Dead" ("Narcissus as Narcissus," in On the Limits of Poetry, New York: The Swallow Press and William Morrow, 1948).

10. Francis Thompson, "Essay on Shelley" (Works, London: Burns and Oates, 1913, Vol. III, p. 16). — In relation to Henri Bremond's Priere et Poésie, T. S. Eliot wrote: "My first qualm is over the assertion that 'the more of a poet any particular poet is, the more he is tormented by the need of communicating his experience.' This is a downright sort of statement which is very easy to accept without examination; but the matter is not so simple as all that. I should say that the poet is tormented primarily by the need to write a poem. . . ." The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933), pp. 130-31.

11.A Defence of Poetry.

12. The disregard for the intrinsically intellectual character and knowledge value of poetic intuition, and of the essential distinction between simple or "brute" emotion and the intuitive, spiritualized emotion which is the proper means of poetic knowledge, is responsible, I think, for the theory that the "one final cause of poetry" is to act "as a safety valve tending to preserve" the poet "from mental disease ' (Keble), or that poetry is essentially "ein Heilungsprozess durch Autoanalyse" (W. Stekel), as Frederic Clarke Prescott relates in The Poetic Mind (New York: Macmillan, 1926), pp. 271-77.

I do not deny, to be sure, the vis media; of poetry, both with respect to the poet and the reader, and the effect of catharsis it produces. What I maintain is that all that is a secondary result, not the essence nor the "one final cause."

13. C. E. M. Joad, Matter, Life and Value (Oxford University Press, London: Humphrey Milford, 1929), Chapter IX, p. 396.

14. The music of the intuitive pulsions has been repressed and superseded in the expression. This, of course, is not incompatible with the fact, which I pointed out at the beginning, of the fundamental part played by the intuitive pulsions in the soul of the poet, in his preconscious activity, especially, as we shall see further, at the source of the poetic image.

15. Walter Savage Landor, "Rose Aylmer."

16. Shelley, "When the Lamp Is Shattered," first strophe.

16a. In T. S. Eliot, Collected Poems 1909-1935 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1936).

17. Of course I am thinking of good or truly representative modern poets.

18. Cf. the remarks of Claudel (Positions et Propositions, Paris: Gallimard, 1928 p. 38) and Valéry (Variété II, Paris: Gal. limard, 1930, p. 169).

19. Cf. these remarks of Mr. Blackmur on Thomas Hardy's poem, "Last Words to a Dumb Friend": "... the violence is in side, working out, like the violence of life or light. The burden of specific feeling it the first part of the poem set enough energy up to translate the thought in the second half to the condition of feeling; and the product of the two is the poetic emotion which we feel most strongly as the rhythm, not the pattern-rhythm of the lines, but the invoked rhythm, beating mutually in thought and feeling and syllable, of the whole poem." R. P. Blackmur, The Expense of Greatness (New York: Arrow Ed., 1940), p. 71.

19a. Both poems in Collected Poems (2nd ed., New York: Macmillan, 1950).

20. I Cor. 7:32-33.

21. "Un baigneur qui ne sait pas nager et qui se noie, invente la natation. Avec quels vieux mouvements, sans cesse inventés,le poète sauve son poème! De tous ces mouvements it se rappelle le mécanisme. Il les recommence. Il est habité par mule diables auxquels it doit obéir. Ces règles mystérieuses sont aux vieilles règles de la versification ce que dix parties d'échec menées ensemble sont a une partie de dominos." Le Secret professionnel (1922;in Le Rappel a l'Ordre, Paris: Stock, 1926), p. 213.

"Only a bad poet," T. S. Eliot wrote, "could welcome free verse as a liberation from form. It was a revolt against dead form, and a preparation for new form or for the renewal of the old; it was an insistence upon the inner unity which is unique to every poem, against the outer unity which is typical." The Music of Poetry, p. 26.

"Le remarquable est que, pour la premiere fois, an cours de l'histoire littéraire d'aucun peuple, concurremment aux grandes orgues genérales et séculaires, ou s’exalte, d'après un latent clavier, l'orthodoxie, quibonque avec son jeu et son mile individuels -se peut composer un instrument, des qu'il souffle, le frole ou frappe avec science; en user a part et le dédier aussi a la Langue." Mallarmé, "Divagation premiere" (Vers at Prose, Paris: Perrin, 1935; p. 182; "Crise de Vers," Divagations, Paris: Fasquelle, 1949, p. 246).

22. "Es [les mots] s'allument de reflets réciproques comme une virtuelle trainee de feux sur des pierreries, remplaçant la respiration perceptible en Vanden souffle lyrique ou la direction personnelle enthousiaste de la phrase. Ce caractère approche de la spontanéité de l'orchestre." Mallarmé, "Divagation premiere," p. 192 (in Divagations, 1949, "Crise de Vers," p. 252, the last sentence is omitted).

22a. Phedre, I, iii.

23. This was the case with the poems I described above (Chapter VII, p. 265) as poems in which the conceptual utterances either have disappeared or are reduced to a minimum or are merely allusive.

24. T. S. Eliot, "The Perfect Critic,” The Sacred Wood (London: Methuen. 1920), p. 7.

25. Ibid., pp. 6 and 5.

26. John Crowe Ransom, The World's Body (New York: Scribner, 1938), p. 115.

27. This problem, I need not say, has only the remotest connection with the distinction between simile and metaphor, which deals with a purely stylistic difference in form of expression.

28. Corneille, Polyeucte, IV, ii.

29. "Maid Quiet."

30. In classical poetry he would have said that the same forces which gave birth to the stars were stirring his blood—the conceptualization would have washed away the illuminating image (the winds ).

31. Moby Dick (The Modern Library), p. 53.

32. "Pour lui [le poete], rien ne se décrit si bien que ce qui se connait a peine. On ne découvre que ce qu'on ne connait pas." Paul Eluard, Donner a voir (Paris: Gallimard, 1939), p. 124.

33. "the lion's ferocious chrysanthemum head seeming kind by/comparison." In "The Monkey Puzzle" (Collected Poems, New York: Macmillan, 1951). Cf. R.P. Blackmur The Double Agent (New York: Arrow Ed. 1935), p. 137, note, and p. 161.

34. Pierre Reverdy, "Sur la Ligne" (Ferraille,Brussels: Journal Des Poetes, 1937 reprinted in Main d'OEuvre, Paris: Mercure de France, 1949).

35. "What Being," in Unfinished Poems (Poems, NewYork: Oxford University Press, 1948).

36. Cf. Chapter VII, pp. 261-62.

37. All for Love, II, 295-96.

38. See Chapter VI, pp. 226-27.

Texts without Comment for Chapter Eight
Chapter VII. Poetic Experience and Poetic Sense
Chapter IX. The Three Epiphanies of Creative Intuition

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