1 ago. 2011

Religion Politics and Oatmeal

It is only religious and political issues that are seen as exterior to literature, that need a special dispensation to be talked about. If the poet is talking about his personal feelings about outmeal, or anything else, that is seen as a literary theme like anything else.

So the problem of the political commitment of writing, or the mysticism of John of the Cross, is a non-issue, or a thematic issue like any other. The way commentators tie themselves in knots over whether to read religious poetry as religious, or not, is just silly.

Or is it? What people really object to is allegory itself. Again, the de-allegorizing reading is deeply unhistorical and thus fairly ridiculous.

I remember reading the Song of Songs as a kid in some standard KJV bible, and seeing the headings that told you what it was supposed to be about. Obviously this was a lie, and I knew it then. But this pretty stupid way of reading an anthology of nuptial songs led to some pretty great poetry.

2 comentarios:

John dijo...

What a refreshing insight!

The problem with a lot of political poetry -- political songs too -- is the underlying rhetorical stance that "it's supposed to be good for you." That's usually a self-undermining rhetorical approach.

But yeah, I agree with you.

Jonathan dijo...

Yes, those failures of rhetoric... That could happen with any theme.