Image and Concept

Words by Austin Warren from his book Richard Crashaw: A Study in Baroque Sensibility

All imagery is double in its reference, a composite of perception and conception. Of these ingredients, the proportions vary. The metaphorist can collate image with image, or image with concept, or concept with image. He can compare love to a rose, or a rose to love, or a pine grove to a cathedral, or religious ecstasy to intoxication.

He now introduces a concern with the pictorial and visualization.

Then too, the metaphorists differ widely in the degree of visualization for which they project their images. The epic simile of Homer and of Spenser is fully pictorial; the intent, relative to the poet’s architecture, is decorative. On the other hand, the “sunken” and the “radical” types of imagery — the conceits of Donne and the “symbols” of Hart Crane — expect scant realization by the senses.

I like how the syntax complicates itself as the paragraph moves on to the other hand examples. Where Homer and Spenser shared epic simile, Crane and Donne have their conceits and symbols respectively. The difference is made palpable.

And so for day 557

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