By A cura di Ilaria Ramelli
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Additional resources for Corpus Hermeticum
It was a knowledge that affected in some degree his entire sensibility. The evidence for this claim is in the meditative poetry Eliot has written. But one can also learn something from a few absorbing pages Eliot composed as a 'Preface' to an anthology of devotional literature entitled Thoughts for Meditation: A Way to Recovery from Within. 1 Eliot's immediate subject in these pages is the question of how best to read the work of spiritual authors. First of all, he makes a number of comments on the difficulties involved in the reading of other kinds of literature such as philosophy and poetry: Philosophy is difficult, unless we discipline our minds for it; the full appreciation of poetry is difficult for those who have not trained their sensibility by years of attentive reading.
For what Eliot is referring to here is nothing less, I take it, than that mystery which is called by Christians the Incarnation, the mysterious descent of the Supreme Being, God's eternal Word, into space and time. B. THE MYSTICAL ATTITUDE OF HENRI BERGSON Just before one reaches the 'Aristotelian' meditation at the close of 'Burnt Norton' one is confronted by these four mysterious lines: The Word in the desert Is most attacked by voices of temptation, The crying shadow in the funeral dance, The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.
But in the mind and imagination of the creative artist, these two 44 'Burnt Norton': At the Still Point separate and distinct disciplines may sometimes unite in the making of a poem; and, perhaps more by grace of instinct than design, help to create what is now called 'the poetry of meditation' or 'the meditative poem'. For our purposes here, it is important to note that this genre of poetry is not necessarily limited to the seventeenth century. Indeed, Martz puts forward the tentative hypothesis that 'in the poetry of Hopkins, and in the later poetry of Yeats or Eliot, we may find that the individual ways of meditation are guided in part by traditional methods'.