Degrees of excellency in poetry – Grados de excelencia en la poesía

The degrees of excellency in poetry are discussed in the Kavya Prakasha and the Sahitya Darpana. The best is where there is a deeper significance than that of the literal sense. In minor poetry the sense overpowers the suggestion. In inferior poetry, significantly described as "variegated" or "romantic" (chitra), the only artistic quality consists in the ornamentation of the literal sense, which conveys no suggestion beyond its face meaning. Thus narrative and descriptive verse take a low place, just as portraiture does in plastic art: and, indeed, the Sahitya Darpana excludes the last kind of poetry altogether. It is to be observed that the kind of suggestion meant is something more than implication or double entendre: in the first case we have to do with mere abbreviation, comparable with the use of the words et cetera, in the second we have a mere play on words. What is understood to be suggested is one of the nine rasas.
    Ananada K. Coomaraswamy, from ‘The Dance of Shiva’

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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