Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Sixteen years of Treehouse talk

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The Imaginative Sense of Christmas

Welcome to this week'sWednesday Hodgepodge. Click the graphic to join the rest of the Hodgepodgers at From This Side of the Pond.

From this Side of the Pond
1. 'Tis the season to be jolly....so are you? 

I'm working on it.

2. Do you trim a tree this time of year, and if so is yours all done? What's something in your home-closet-life that needs to be trimmed in the new year? 

We did that yesterday.

Our tree skirt is a thrifted tablecloth. Other years we've used an afghan.

3. Are you 'dreaming of a white Christmas'? Is that a possibility where you'll be celebrating?

Almost for certain.

 According to this site the top ten places in the US you can count on for a white Christmas are- North Pole Alaska, Crater Lake Oregon, Yellowstone National Park, Winthrop Washington, Aspen Colorado, Ketchum Idaho, Mt. Washington New Hampshire, Whitefish Montana, Duluth Minnesota, and the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee California

Of the snowy spots listed which would you most like to visit? 

None, thank you. I like warm weather.

4. December 8th is National Brownie Day...will you be celebrating? How do you like your brownies-chewy or cake-like, frosted or plain, nuts or no nuts, a piece from the middle or give me the corner? As a child were you a member of a brownie troop? 

Last question: yes. 'Nuff said.

I like brownies, but cinnamon rolls are good too.

5. Share a favorite line or two from a Christmas carol.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

And with fear and trembling stand;

Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
For with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I was reading something about how we understand poetry, especially poetry that has a lot of literary allusions or seems generally difficult or obscure. Is it enough just to say that if it sounds good, then it is good even if it's essentially meaningless, because poetry isn't supposed to have "meaning?"  In poetry, are we limited to either something like Anne Shirley's "I'd just feeeeel a prayer", or Marilla's "learn your catechism?" At Christmas, should we settle for wall decorations and throw pillows that bleat a vague "Believe?"

George S. Williamson, who wrote a book on T.S. Eliot's poetry many years ago, put a plug in for a third option, saying that "Neither an emotional nor a musical effect, if it is really such, can be founded on incoherence. This study assumes that poetry as meaning is neither plain sense nor nonsense, but a form of imaginative sense... Indeed, we can speak of the meaning of a poem as its mode of apprehension or as a synthetic principle controlling the elements in which its feelings take shape. On a lower level it is no more and no less than the metrical syntax of the poem. Without it a poem will function at random; without its consideration any discussion must be aimless, at best peripheral. Without it a poem cannot have an apprehensible being." (A Reader's Guide to T.S. Eliot, by George S. Williamson)

Poetry must certainly have meaning; just a different sort. It's not nonsense, it's imaginative sense.

Just like mystery and angels and the Incarnation don't have to be fully understood or brought down to everyday terms to be real.

Wishing you all a considered and coherent Christmas.

3 comments:

songbird's crazy world said...

I'm with you, I like warm weather

Joyce said...

Well the words to that carol are certainly timely! It seems many of us are having to work a little to feel 'jolly' this Christmas. Still, it's Christmas and if I keep that at the front of my brain life is better. Have a good week!

Unknown said...

Those cinnamon rolls look yummy!