I meant "moral substance" in previous post in a vague sense. What I'm thinking of, I guess, are artistic or aesthetic approaches which do not intentionally close off moral-ethical ramifications, or meanings in general. Such intentional hermeticism has always been an option for poets and schools of poetry, to one degree or another. A defensive maneuver. You can see it in the so-called "decadent" aesthetes of the 19th-century fin de siecle; in some versions of Imagism; in New Critical valorizations of the autonomous "aesthetic object"; in aspects of the NY School; in latter sections of The Maximus Poems; in Language Poetry & other postmodernisms.

You can see it also, in a way, in the bourgeois-boho, fashionable epicureanism which Robert Archambeau recently analysed. What he describes is certainly not hermeticism : but it's a set of cultural codes which restrict artistic implications to a very narrow range.

I am not trying to criticize these defensive aspects of poetic practice just for the sake of being negative. I have practiced them in many ways in my own writing. Rather I'm trying to make room for the recognition of other possibilities, other avenues - the kind of thing that Langdon Hammer attributes to Hart Crane's project (which was over-compensatory & extreme in its own way). I mean the approaches akin to what is referred to as (or used to be called) "seriousness", "the grand style", epic, heroic poetry.

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