‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]
‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.
There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Herbert George Wells
One thing I'll be doing in 2017 is starting a new blog (another one! I know!) to log, and reflect upon, my reading of the whole of H G Wells's oeuvre. I need to get properly on top of Wells for a Thing I may or may not be doing (I'm sorry to be evasive, but no contract has as yet been signed, so I can't say more), and I do find blogging a useful way of keeping track of my thoughts. That just leaves the name: what should I call it?
The Wells at the Blog's End
Herblog George Wells
Blogging the Wells Dry
All's Wells That Blogs Wells
The Food of the Blogs and How It Came to Earth
The Bloggic Argonauts
"The HTML Machine"
"No One Would Have Believed, In The First Years Of The Twenty-First Century, That Wellsian Affairs Were Being Watched Keenly and Closely by Intelligences Bloggier Than Man’s And Yet As Mortal As His Own"
Bit of a mouthful, that last one.