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David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and poets flock upon the morning light
each with their foretelling of the end of night.

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waking at the roseate dawn
to wonder what might rhyme with 'morn'..
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:29 am    Post subject: The Value of Poetry Reply with quote

In five recent programmes on Radio 4 Melvyn Bragg raised the question of “The Value of Culture”. (Available “indefinitely” through iPlayer).

The series began by considering Matthew Arnold’s essays concerning “Culture and Anarchy”, and moved on to include programmes on the anthropological view of culture; the view that there are two clashing cultures in the arts and the sciences; the rise of mass culture, and a final discussion programme concerning the value of culture today.

At the outset of the series lexicographer Tony Thorne indicated that the word culture was a Late Latin word linked to cultivation, and in its original form was a verb meaning to till, to form and to inhabit.

Latin writers such as Cicero used it in the sense of cultivation of the mind or soul, but when it was introduced into English (from the French) it was initially used in the sense of cultivating the soil and only in the seventeenth century, with writers such as Francis Bacon and John Milton, was it applied to the cultivation of the mind. (My 1993 edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary lists “A cultivated field or piece of land” as the initial definition for culture).

Among the contemporary uses of the word is the sense of a culture as being the action or process of growing bacteria or other microorganisms in a prepared nutrient media.

All of which set me to thinking about poetry as one of the grounds on which human beings can grow and be nurtured, and of how a sense of the possibility of the immanent Good often shines through in the lines of even the bleakest of poetic visions.

May this ongoing forum, to adapt lines from W H Auden (“September 1, 1939”), share an affirming flame.
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