A Phenomenological Perspective of Theodore Roethke’s Poetry

  • S. J. Holstein
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 17)


Merleau-Ponty’s dictum that “true philosophy consists in relearning to look at the world”1 applies also to artistic endeavor. For when an artist shows us how to approach reality by seeing the world in a new way, we call his or her work original and successful. Picasso’s statement that he had spent his whole life learning to paint like a child refers to this relearning process which aims at seeing the things of the world as if for the first time. Therefore, the phenomenological process of stripping away from our eyes overlays of civilization and learned prejudices and seeing the things themselves would seem the ideal method for every artist.


Phenomenological Method Sacred Space Sacred Place True Philosophy Natural Life Cycle 
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    This discussion of the magnification of life is adapted from W. E. H. Stanner, ‘Religion, Totemism and Symbolism,’ in Aboriginal Man in Australia, ed. Ronald M. and Catherine H. Berndt ( Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1965 ), pp. 216–20.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Holstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Hong Kong Shue Yan CollegeHong Kong

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