I've still got the Cs it seems (NPE 3)

Think I've forgotten about the NPE? Oh dear, it stares at me every day, gaze fulsome with...information. But before I delve into my notes on NPE's C, I have a couple of C notes of mine own:

firstly, I can still hit a high C and remember a couple of arias from back in the day. Ah Puccini, Verdi, &c. - I'm certain there are more than a few perturbed seminarians in the building.

Nextly, I've still got the first sentence of the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales by heart. Rite of passage for all English majors. If you know it not, I declare unto you your degree is null and void!

Finally, my vocal cords remain impervious to the cough-inducement of fine church incense. I realize this is likely only amusing to high church Anglicans, but nonetheless.

Now, enough of sound, on to New Princeton:

Creationism, it's not what fundies have for breakfast anymore. In fact, it was/is? a school whose goal was to "break with the past." Chilean (double C points for this one, I think) poet Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948) envisioned the poet as "a small God."

This brings up the same fundamental question - does art imitate life or vice versa - that's been bludgeoned to death many times over. NPE draws parallels between c. and Cubist poetry and Stein's "a rose is a rose is a rose," as well as MacLeish's "a poem should not mean but be." To me, schools are just another excuse to pump out the same poem over and over - what ultimately amounts to a reworking of ars poetica - same message, slightly different intonation, imagery, &c. Granted, I think most poets do this to a degree, and granted, most poems can very happily be read as ars poetica.

Plato and his downplay of the artist's importance to society - the arts (although Plato did respect poets more than he did painters from what I recall) in this rather ingrained ethos constitute a copy of a copy. As all my philosophical understanding amounts to an embodiment of the Allegory of the Cave - I'll resort to that as my primary example. That is: the opposite of Creationism in poetry would be to consider the poem as fixated on portraying an earthly reality which is not, in fact, Reality, but merely a shadow of it. The goal, then, is to get at a Truth external to the poem, which never happens, because we are fallible humans. Get it?

Creationism, on the other hand, posits the poet as seeking nothing, and certainly nothing external to the poem, but rather, building a Reality from within the poem itself. This is where I can see how MacLeish's line would jive so well. A poem isn't meant to point to something, it is meant to be the thing itself. But how does one accomplish that? Concrete poetry? How does one not seek by writing? Alas, it seems that this is more a mindset than a school. Perhaps we shall achieve this Creationism by osmosis. And are these two things one in the same? I'm really rather cynical when it comes to discussing poetic "schools" - cronyism and aesthetic co-dependence? No thank you.

And look how unfortunately named this school is! Perhaps this is why I'd never previously heard of it! Thanks, NPE.


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