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34 review for The Orphic Voice: Poetry and Natural History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    Sewell claims the myth of Orpheus prefigures what happened to poetry in the last 500 years or so. Using poets from Shakespeare to Goethe to Rilke, Sewell finds an Orphic tradition which she uses to define myth, myth-thinking and imagination as powers of mind available to everyone but often overlooked in the quest for what has become the dominant mode of analysis today - taking apart rather than connecting, science displacing art, the supposed split between imagination and science. Sewell says th Sewell claims the myth of Orpheus prefigures what happened to poetry in the last 500 years or so. Using poets from Shakespeare to Goethe to Rilke, Sewell finds an Orphic tradition which she uses to define myth, myth-thinking and imagination as powers of mind available to everyone but often overlooked in the quest for what has become the dominant mode of analysis today - taking apart rather than connecting, science displacing art, the supposed split between imagination and science. Sewell says these categories "are tidy and they are mistaken." There is documentation throughout, and liberal use of provocative quotations in the best sense. Example, "Why has though dragged Diana from her car," Poe asks of Science. There is power in this writing and validation for all who believe in the power of imagination.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaj Efrayim

    To be honest, I tried. I really tried. Couldn’t finish it. The author writes in circles and contradictions, saying “… No opinion excludes or invalidates others in these speculative fields.” Which I assume poetic analysis/criticism falls under. She then goes on to deconstruct Swedenborg and say “What happens in Swedenborg is not that he misdirects himself into theology, but that he misunderstands the Word, in the full Christian sense, and hence of the language he is to work with. So he fuses the To be honest, I tried. I really tried. Couldn’t finish it. The author writes in circles and contradictions, saying “… No opinion excludes or invalidates others in these speculative fields.” Which I assume poetic analysis/criticism falls under. She then goes on to deconstruct Swedenborg and say “What happens in Swedenborg is not that he misdirects himself into theology, but that he misunderstands the Word, in the full Christian sense, and hence of the language he is to work with. So he fuses the language of the Bible in rigid and congealed hypostasis, and then mistakes the role of the interpreter, opting not for hieroglyphic but cipher.” What? Maybe the author should build a time machine and help Swedenborg to not be “mistaken”. Then we can go and live in a world without Blake. This is just bad scholarship; a mental masturbation that fails to impregnate a thesis. She leads the reader from nowhere into nowhere. Perhaps she felt compelled to prove herself as a female scholar writing to male intelligentsia in the mid twentieth century. Better off reading Simone Weil, Giambattista Vico or Max Picard when it comes to artistic analysis; particularly Vico and Picard in regard to poetry.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hanny

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joel Cameron Head

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rjyan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suzana

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Terry

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kanter

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lanny

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  16. 5 out of 5

    Johan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alma

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ben.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Lawrence Library

  20. 4 out of 5

    Black Spring

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aunt Beast

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo Antonio

  24. 5 out of 5

    derris

  25. 5 out of 5

    Modvarker

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sam Flowers

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tiana Reid

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tina Engle-Balch

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  30. 4 out of 5

    50 Cups of Coffee

  31. 5 out of 5

    Tripp

  32. 4 out of 5

    Suzana Spasovska

  33. 5 out of 5

    R

  34. 5 out of 5

    Ena Alvarado

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