The Ground of Our Beseeching: Metaphor and the Poetics of Meditation

Capa
Susquehanna University Press, 2004 - 391 páginas
This book describes the signature styles of meditation in three American poets, and shows how each generated language out of spiritual yearning. Beginning with a survey of twentieth-century thinking on metaphor, the study concentrates on hermeneutical theories of figurative language as forged by continental philosophers Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and Gaston Bachelard. It arrives at a view of metaphor as an analogue of faith, and traces the development of metaphorical practice in the later, meditative sequences of Eliot, Stevens, and Roethke. The book also explores the ways in which both the lengthening poetic structures and the transcendent desires of each poet determine the kind of metaphor that arises, and also the way in which metaphor itself is able to transport each poet to a hitherto unreachable expression of faith, whether in an identifiable deity, as was Eliot's case, or in a more maverick apprehension of the transcendent, as in Stevens and Roethke. Metaphor comes to embody the qualities of possibility, confidence, and expectation usually manifested in orthodox expressions of religious faith. Peter Sharpe is Professor of English at Wagner College.
 

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