Poetic Investigations

Tom D'Evelyn on Poetry and Its Others (philosophy, theology, poetics)

William Desmond

21 August 2014:  This morning I thought about this passage from God and the Between p 253:

Wording the between (logos of the metaxu): not thought thinking itself, not even thought thinking its other, but thought singing the other (see PO, chapter 6). Wording the between: a sung world — a song not only sung, but a song giving rise to new singers.

By ‘thought thinking itself’ we may think of Emerson’s case: the exquisite but ultimately closed circular self-commentary tracking inner movements of thought and feeling in the flux of the moment. By
“thought thinking its other” we may think of the way abstract thought can be “thought” as pure emotion, as music. Both modes of “wording” are common among today’s poetry: the eloquence of the Transcendentalist; the minimal elegance of the “pure” non-referential but often charming text, which ultimately “refers” to Nothingness in its high post-romantic version ( not the creative nothing of ancient ways).  Both modes may be accounted for given the “tense togetherness” of the relative and the absolute (the tension being a sign of the lack of equality, the togetherness a sign of actual experience). The difference between those and metaxic song — “wording the between” — is the difference between a relatively private or even solipsistic experience and one that communicates our common fate as mortals in a world open to immortality. 

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