Winter 1943 • Vol. V No. 1 Book Reviews |

Critical Relativism

The Idiom Of Poetry by Frederick Pottle. Cornell University. $2.00. Out of the miscellanies of our poetic stock Professor Pottle has lined up a more useful stability than we have been getting from critics lately. The stability is the relation betwen poet and period, and it is useful because all generally adcnowledged rather than some critically selected poetry can participate in it. Professor Pottle says he has brought to bear here the general principles of physical and linguistic science: this means he believes that discrepancies in valuations need as much study and reconciliation as discrepancies in facts. In his first three chapters, called Shifts of Sensibility, Critical Relativism, and The Critic's Responsibility, he illustrates such reconciliation in notable fashion; in the last three, on "pure" poetry, he seems to me to provide a discrepancy of his own. Given an 18th Century poem which a 20th Century critic finds no "poetry" in, but which an 18th Century critic has fo

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Magna Carta

By Josephine Miles

The Idiom Of Poetry by Frederick Pottle. Cornell University. $2.00. Out of the miscellanies of our poetic stock Professor Pottle has lined up a more useful stability than we have […]

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