January 07, 2006

Whitman and Sri Aurobindo

You can read the whole of Savitri online at the official web site. The site also includes Aurobindo's comments on the writing of Savitri. I found this quote especially interesting:
Out of the paths of the morning star they came
Into the little room of mortal life...
Savitri is blank verse without enjambment (except rarely) - each line a thing by itself and arranged in paragraphs of one, two, three, four, five lines (rarely a longer series), in an attempt to catch something of the Upanishadic and Kalidasian movement, so far as that is a possibility in English.For anyone who wants to write epic or narrative poetry, Savitri is not to be missed. Happy 2006! posted by Rachel Dacus Sunday, January 01, 2006 @ 11:27 AM
wonderful, thanks Rachel --had not read these lines in a long time (and only lately I've become aware of the online Savitri, quite a resource).
Reading this short passage, it's interesting how there seem to be clear hints of (as well as clear differences from) the typical Whitman passage --in a sense both practice the painting of a large picture through the line-wise building up of rich detail after detail, thought after thought, facet after facet, perception after perception. But the special extra something in Aurobindo's language -- a gemmy rather than, what?, woody quality? -- seems equally interesting to note.(This not even attending to the "content"!)

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