Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mystic Word

Interesting piece about Hart Crane in The New Yorker by Adam Kirsch:

Once a poet calls his myth a myth, he prevents the reader from treating it as a reality; we use the word “myth” only for stories we ourselves cannot believe. That is why a poet cannot create myths; he can only employ and embellish the ones he has inherited. Homer could not have invented the Olympian gods, or Dante the cosmology of medieval Catholicism, and still have written as he did. By striving so effortfully to turn the Brooklyn Bridge into a religious symbol, Crane forces us to recognize that all he has really created is a vague and problematic metaphor.

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