Saturday, September 3, 2011

In the Face of Complexity, Less Jab More Hook

T. S. Eliot 
In a talk given on CBC “Critically Speaking Program” McLuhan argues that the poet of our time must, of necessity, be difficult. Confronted with an ever more complex world the poet’s work must become more compressed, allusive and indirect--doing violence to language in order to express himself [sic]. The poets job, he continues, is not to transmit messages but to provide a new awareness and orientation. 

Earlier in his talk McLuhan propped up T. S. Eliot as a guide to the direction he was outlining. Eliot, McLuhan noted, sent his readers exploring Latin, Greek, French and Sanskrit as new kinds of perception. Eliot, McLuhan continues, restored the use of ancient myth for modern poetry in the Wasteland as a means of revealing life lived according to two contrasting kinds of love and two kinds of death.
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Is this [] a poem?

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