Spring 1951 • Vol. XIII No. 2 My Credo: A Symposium of Critics (Continued)April 1, 1951 |

VIII. On the Function of Criticism

MY CREDO (continued) Poetry is the use of certain techniques of language and certain forms in order to make vivid certain metaphors. The poet says "my experience is like this," "my thought takes such and such a shape." He creates the experience or the thought in language, so that the metaphor becomes a new experience, the experience of the poem. Yet, the poem, like an image in a looking glass, although seeming an enframed, separate world of the image, reflects a real world. Criticism reminds us of this. Besides judging the quality of the mirroring of the image, and the suitability of the frame, it relates the image in the mirror back to the real experience in a hierarchy of events having greater or lesser significance. Criticism applies principles whereby the experience contained within the poem is judged. These principles are of three main kinds: (1) Consideration of the justice and versimilitude of the metaphor. Is the experience contained in the poem really like the p

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An English poet, novelist and essayist, Stephen Spender (1909-1995) came to prominence in the 1930s alongside W. H. Auden and others. He was appointed the seventeenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965 and focused his work on themes of social justice.

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Epithalamion

By Stephen Spender

MY CREDO (continued) Poetry is the use of certain techniques of language and certain forms in order to make vivid certain metaphors. The poet says "my experience is like this," […]

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