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  #21  
Unread 05-17-2022, 01:10 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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I didn't know the romantics were criticized for vagueness. I can see that as an issue with Byron and Shelley, but not Wordsworth and certainly not Keats, the best of them all.
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  #22  
Unread 05-17-2022, 04:29 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Carl, hi John,

Thanks for stopping back.
Carl: yes, you are exactly right!
John: yes, Byron and Shelley do get vague at times, and Blake gets very vague. I agree with you in general about Keats and Wordsworth, though De Quincey found Keats's Endymion (not his best work IMO) vaguer "than the reveries of an oyster." It's worth remembering Keats died at 27.
Here I think is my favorite Byron lyric: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...-more-a-roving

Cheers,
John
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  #23  
Unread 05-18-2022, 08:50 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Not to split hairs, but Keats died at 25, not 27, so he doesn't belong to the 27 Club that now includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Brian Jones, and Jim Morrison.

Endymion may be a bit "vague," but Keats's greatest work is very much the opposite. The detailed descriptions of the scenes on the Grecian urn are quite precise, and elsewhere his images are so precise that he gives us not just bees, but the bee-mouth sipping. And his precise microscopic eye in the Autumn ode gives us such unvague images as

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
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  #24  
Unread 05-18-2022, 04:37 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Roger,

Yup - thank you! - 25 not 27 and thus not a founder of the 27 club. 1795-1821, but I am very bad at math. He was 21 when he wrote Endymion (1817), 22 when he published it, so I cut him some slack. About the only great teen poet I can think of in history is Rimbaud, who ceased writing at 20.

Endymion may be vague, though I think De Quincey got carried away by his glitzy metaphor, but I agree with you (and John R.), Keats in his odes is not a vague writer by any means. Nor is, say, Blake in his Songs of Innocence and Experience. Calling the Romantics vague is a bit old hat IMO, and it applies to them unevenly, outside the UK as inside.

Cheers,
John
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  #25  
Unread 05-18-2022, 08:22 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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John, I’ve been holding fire a long time. This reads ok metrically, but the content doesn’t magnetize me. I get a sense of casual laissez faire, one dang thing after another, hopefully brought together by a reference to superb music. It doesn’t live up to its magneloquent title. As an axiom, “a poet’s reach may well exceed his grasp”, and going big on titles with vastish theoretical connotations is just fine for kiddies. But if you want to get a second look from the tastemakers, I’d go for a title involving great music, rather than Unified Field Theory.
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  #26  
Unread 05-18-2022, 09:31 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Allen,

You make a pertinent point. I can argue that if the unified field Einstein and others were looking for by its nature permeates every atom of reality, then it is precisely an everyday thing, it governs all our atomic and subatomic interaction on Earths' surface as it governs the galaxies. It is, perhaps, dreary in that way. But that argument exists really outside the poem, not within it, and the poem itself will not do enough to justify the title to those who know something of what Unified Field Theory is looking for, i.e., more than gnats and Bach.
I'll have to think about the title. Continuum might work.

Cheers,
John
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  #27  
Unread 05-18-2022, 10:35 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Ok, thanks. What I get from this is less like what most people would think of as a continuum, and more like a hodgepodge, though since all of it is in the same universe, one could say, aha, pantheism, or maybe call it something like Discontinuous Function, if you want to sound mathy.

I still think the music should be there.

“Differentiation can only be applied to functions whose graphs look like straight lines in the vicinity of the point at which you want to differentiate.”

That vicinity may be very very very small, but it must be there. No division by cosmic zero, for example.

Here’s a link that shows in graph seven what kind of a hodgepodge can be rescued by the soothing cough syrup of calculus.

https://klein.mit.edu/~djk/calculus_...section03.html
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  #28  
Unread 05-18-2022, 11:05 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Oh, I like graph 7! Thanks Allen. There's an MIT textbook whose index features "whale." Go to that page and you get a graph that looks like a whale.

Anyhow. I appreciate math from a distance. "Continuum" still seems possible to me.

Cheers,
John
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  #29  
Unread 05-19-2022, 03:50 AM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
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John, "Gamut" might work as a compromise between you and Allen, but "Continuum" is prettier. Oh, and I wondered how you'd feel about "took out" in S1L4. "Removed" too is prettier, but it befuddled poor me. (If you'd naturally tell your kid or whomever to remove the garbage, forget I said anything. Could be a regional thing.)

Carl

Last edited by Carl Copeland; 05-19-2022 at 07:22 AM.
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  #30  
Unread 05-19-2022, 12:14 PM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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Hi John,

I think that other people’s comments about the title are good points. I think that I would read your intention more if it were called ‘continuum’, and perhaps even more so if you called it ‘continuum of Bach and gnats’ which is unusual and surreal and would get people thinking of these things as a continuum, which is nice, as I agree with Allen that it isn’t what I (being a fairly standard reader) would think of as a continuum. So what it does for me is make me think of these things as a continuum and that adds a layer of interest to the poem which the current title doesn’t, so much.


Sarah-Jane
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