WHAT IS POETRY by John Hall Wheelock


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A set of exquisite essays on the nature of poetry from Augustan-voiced John Hall Wheelock. If he offers no startling statements, neither does he palm off any prattling ones. Like Aldous Huxley, he agrees that the scientific quest for unity is kin to the poet's own quest (they both attempt order out of disorder), but unlike Huxley, Wheelock believes- poetry's syntax is held together not through language as such but rather through language-as-music. Only thus can one communicate the incommunicable, nuclear age or no. The subjects cover the intricacies of the imagination, the uses of symbolism, the common man's resistance to reality and the currently academic avant garde. The poet, says Wheelock, tells what has long been known to all and forgotten; he deals in human truths, not cosmic ones. A pleasure for eye and ear; excellent for the general reader.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1963
Publisher: Scribners