Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Mechanics of Style

Here's a sentence I'm still laboring (and belaboring) on:
This is a poem of uncreation, and it reveals both Milton's strong influence on MacLeish's strange imagery and MacLeish's powerful counter-success against Milton's impressive imagery.
The sentence still needs work, mostly in its vocabulary.

Anyone with anything to suggest?



At 5:37 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

I'm guessing that your sentence is going for an antimetabole-like symmetry, so my question is: is the sentence's content actually symmetrical? To wit: I can see how Milton, living in the 1600s, might influence MacLeish, who lived from the 1890s to the 1980s. For there to be perfect symmetry, though, there would need to be a retro-temporal influence, which is physically impossible, so we have instead "MacLeish's powerful counter-success against Milton's impressive imagery." I'm not sure how to take "counter-success," but I assume it means something along the lines of MacLeish's influence on his contemporaries' thoughts on Milton, so as to diminish Milton's prominence, eminence, or significance. Influence, like information, can only travel forward in time, so the antimetabole doesn't quite work (assuming, of course, that you were indeed going for an antimetabolic effect).

More simply—

Hoped-for antimetabolic symmetry: Milton influences MacLeish; MacLeish influences Milton

But that's impossible because Milton is dead and can't be influenced.

Actual reality: Milton influences MacLeish; MacLeish (negatively?) influences perceptions of Milton (hence "counter-success")

My thoughts, anyway. Of course, I could simply be on drugs.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Kevin. The "Actual Reality" is closer to my meaning, but nothing negative, really, just that uncreation means back to nothingness for MacLeish. Milton starts with chaos and God.

I'll somehow bring my thoughts together.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...


Not sure what to make of that?

But break it down into lines and you have a pretty good surrealist poem.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

All is interpretation . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Bienvenido Bones said...

Inspiring from Surrealism and meta-narrative and universal questions of language and time. *Bones*

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

And all because of my sentencing . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Aayushi_13 said...

Great Blog. Thanks for sharing this with us. Want to know about mechanics workshops.



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