Acronyms used in the website

SABCL - Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library

CWSA - Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo

CWM - Collected Works of The Mother

Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/ The Words of Poetry.htm
THE WORDS OF POETRY   Degas, the famous painter, once said to Mallarme, the famous poet: "How is it that though I have plenty of ideas I still can't write poetry?" Mallarme replied: "My dear man, poetry is not written with ideas, it is written with words."   This statement may seem at first to poke fun at Degas, archly pointing out an obvious truth to the rather dense painter. Mallarme no doubt, had often his tongue in his cheek, but he never lost a chance to comment on the essential nature of poetry. Coming from an indefatigable theoretician of aesthetics, the statement is a bit of literary criticism rather than a piece of academic witticism. It is meant to endow poetry
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Some Problems of Poetry (Three Letters).htm
-004_Some Problems of Poetry (Three Letters) SOME PROBLEMS OF POETRY   (THREE LETTERS)   To D   Artistic intensity I have always stressed. It provides the key to a lot of problems connected with poetry. The problem of sincerity which you mention is one of them.   A poem is admittedly an art-medium and if an art-medium is chosen for what one has to say, artistic intensity is of paramount value. Once you grant this, it becomes pointless to speak, as you have done, of "simply an artistic value" in a spiritual poem. Perhaps you mean by "artistic value" decorativeness laid on from without or mere technical skill. But these things are not art. The former is in fact a fault which art m
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Sri Aurobindo^s Savitri and Tennysonian Blank verse (A Letter).htm
-022_Sri Aurobindo^s Savitri and Tennysonian Blank verse (A Letter) SRI AUROBINDO'S SAVITRI AND TENNYSONIAN BLANK VERSE   A LETTER   I was much interested to read the views you have sent me of the two dons — one English, the other Irish — on Sri Aurobindo's Savitri. The first of these Academics seems to me rather misguided in his evaluation of the epic's blank verse.   No doubt, he is right in saying that there was plenty of end-stopped blank verse in English before Savitri — but did you actually say that the only type had been the enjambed? Most probably, when you pointed out the "originality" of Sri Aurobindo's metrical form, you had more things in mind than merely its abstention
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Wordsworth-Man and poet.htm
WORDSWORTH — MAN AND POET:  SOME REFLECTIONS IN 1970   1970 makes two hundred years since Wordsworth was born. Both during his lifetime and after, a lot has been written about the man and the poet. He is a figure of considerable importance and we may well set ourselves to throw together some facts and observations to stimulate a living perception of this strange and great figure.   APPEARANCE AND RELATIONSHIPS   Let us start with his appearance. We have often heard him described as most unpoetically horse-faced. But that is not the impression produced on all. Nor did he himself regard his physiognomy as poor. When Hazlitt spoke of his forehead as being nar
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/A Great Pioneer of Yogic Poetry.htm
A GREAT PIONEER OF YOGIC POETRY:  AN APPRAISEMENT OF AE'S INSPIRATION   It was in starlight that I heard of AE's death. I do not know if he died also under the stars, but there could have been no better time to hear of his passing. For often he must have shut his eyes in tranced forgetfulness of earth at this deep and passionless hour: he was one of those to whom meditation and self-communion was the truest life, and he has told us how those little gemlike songs of his early days came to him pure and perfect out of the profound hush into which he had plunged his mind. I remember my own joy on first realising what his poetry disclosed — a cool unpretentious flower
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Romantic Melancholy and Existentialist Anguish (A Letter).htm
-019_Romantic Melancholy and Existentialist Anguish (A Letter) ROMANTIC MELANCHOLY AND EXISTENTIALIST ANGUISH   (A LETTER)   If I were a historian of literary thought I should call your letter a connecting-link of tendencies between some moods of the nineteenth century and some complexes of the twentieth. In terms of colour, it is a creamy grey of uncertain aestheticism, joining the poetic pallors of those days to the philosophic blacknesses of our own. In terms of shape, it is a bridge between romantic melancholy and existentialist anguish — shall we say, a Bridge of Sighs, recalling those lines of Byron's? —   I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs, A palace and a prison o
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/God^s Doorway.htm
-011_God's Doorway "GOD'S DOORWAY "   A shining door, immense and unmoving, stands between our worship and the Beyond. That is all the light vouchsafed to us, a hard light blocking our passage to the ultimate Secrecy. We knock and knock, but no grace slides through the fast fitting, no glimpse of the other side is given us by any relenting of the giant hinges. Still, we find that every knock gathers — with its harsh and hurtful rebound from the surface of gold confronting us — a ringing sweetness, a most melodious and heart-ravishing "Nay" to all the importunate prayers of our flesh and blood. Here is a refusal that is a rapture more rich than our grandest triumphs in the world. Out of its mysterious reve
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Two Letters on Poetry.htm
TWO LETTERS ON POETRY   1   "Poetry is life at a remove of form and meaning."   This dictum of R. P. Blackmuir's strikes me as crystallising a very central truth. Let me interpret it to you as best I can.   It is a mistake to cut poetry off from life, but it is also a mistake to equate it with life. In poetry we do get life, but not in its crude immediacy. We get it at a remove — with a certain refining change of it.   Life, as it is, has a looseness, a roughness, a disorder-liness: it lacks a perfect organisation of energy, a rounding off and a finishing touch, a harmonious weaving together of many strands into one whole. All that life lacks here
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/Towards the Illimitable.htm
TOWARDS THE ILLIMITABLE   A moment's warmth and the intimacies of a handful can never be my terminus. I must either possess like a God or feel the universe alien and strive to destroy its endless multitude by some mystical fiat of my consciousness. If I fail, I move among men like a dusky cloud, depressing them and myself losing all savour of life. Even the poet in me, whose natural being is to discover the veins of gold embedded in dull rock, keeps drifting with a listless countenance. I know that a Light dissolving every imperfection lives somewhere and that I have a home in it which on occasion I attain. But the sense of not having attained it for good is often the verge
Resource name: /E-Library/Disciples/Amal Kiran (K D Sethna)/English/Inspiration and Effort/The Critic^s Development.htm
-009_The Critic^s Development THE CRITIC'S DEVELOPMENT   A true critic of poetry passes through three stages of development. He begins by a conscious exercise of the analytic mind upon his experience of a poem. He takes his impression to pieces, classifies his reactions, studies the structure from the outside and considers both the matter and the form inasmuch as they are communicated to him across a gulf of strangeness: his criticism is the result of his mind's evaluation, as regards both significance and technique, of the relation established between two separate ends, the poem and himself.   By constant practice he discovers a few points of contact with the poem, through which he visions the f