The Jasmine Papers: Notes on the Study of Poetry in the Age of Cognitive Science
44 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 6, 2013
In More Than Cool Reason Lakoff and Turner offer a global reading of “To a Solitary Disciple” (by William Carlos Williams) in terms of conceptual metaphor theory (CMT). The reading itself is independent of CMT; any competent literary critic could have done it. Their attempt to explain the relationship between that reading and the poem using CMT is at best problematic and does not seem to be metaphoric as specified by the terms of CMT. Rather, their reading takes the form of little narrative that has the same form as one they attribute to the poem. Beyond the critique of Lakoff and Turner, this paper makes some observations about the poem and suggests that it has a ring form: A, B, C, D, C’, B’, A’. Two sentences by Hemingway and a poem by Dylan Thomas are discussed in counterpoint with “To a Solitary Disciple.” Two appendices discuss ontological cognition in relation to Williams’ Paterson, Book V and Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.
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