Thursday, October 20, 2005

O que é "poesia"?


“To proclaim the use of images, argued Sklovskij, as the distinctive feature of literary art is to posit a frame of reference at once too broad and too narrow. Poetic diction and imagery, he continued, are not coextensive notions. On the one hand, the area of figurative speech is much broader than that of poetry, as 'tropes' appear on various levels of language, for instance in picturesque colloquialisms or in the rhetorical figures of oratory. On the other hand, as Jakobson has pointed out, a work of poetry can sometimes dispense with 'images' in the usual sense without losing any of its suggestiveness. According to Jakobson, a good exemple of this is provided by Puskin's famous lyric, "I Loved You Once", which achieves the intended effect - that of wistful resignation, half-concealing a still smouldering passion - without having recourse to any figures of speech. The efficacy of this lyrical masterpiece rests solely on a successful manipulation of grammatical oppositions and of phrase melody. Obviously, insisted the Formalists, there is such a thing as a non-figurative poem, as well as a non-poetic image.

"The poet", wrote Skloyskij, "does not create images; he finds them [in ordinary language - V.E.] or recollects them." Consequently, it is not in the mere presence of imagery, but in the use to which it is being put that one should seek the differentia of poetry.”

(Viktor Erlich, Russian Formalism, History, Doctrine,
Mouton, The Hague-Paris, 1969, third edit.)