Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cleaving keats

negative capability cleave

i didn’t have a dispute—but a disquisition
with dilke on various subjects—several things
dove-tailed in my mind—and then it struck me
what quality formed—a man of achievement
especially in literature—which shakespeare
possessed so enormously—negative capability
when a man is—capable of being in uncertainties
mysteries, doubts—without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason—coleridge, for instance
would let go by a—fine isolated verisimilitude
caught from the—penetralium of mystery
from being incapable of—remaining content
with half-knowledge—this pursued thru volumes
would perhaps take us—no further than this
that with a great poet—the sense of beauty
overcomes every—other consideration

obliterating—all consideration

Please note:

Laurie, Phuoc-Tan, Jennifer, Diana:

After posting my somewhat discursive linear opinings about our various & sundry cleaving efforts in regard to Keats’ idea of ‘negative capability—I paused a moment & asked myself what was wrong with what I said.

It wasn’t particularly what was wrong with ‘what’ I was saying—but rather ‘how’ I was saying it. So that rather than cleaving all of my Keats message to you—I simply cleaved the relevant Keats passage in his letter of Sunday [21 Dec. 1817] Hampstead to his brothers.

The resulting two vertical cleaves have some interesting new slants on the cleave composition process—nothing particularly amazing or insightful. Although I did like the way the Keatsian vertical stanzas ended the way they did:

"a great poet overcomes every obliterating"

"the sense of beauty—other considerations all considerations"

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