Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Breaking ThroughEssays, Journals, and Travelogues of Edward F. Ricketts$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edward Ricketts

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247048

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247048.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

“A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry”

“A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry”

(p.105) Chapter 4 “A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry”
Breaking Through

Katharine A. Rodger

University of California Press

The shortest of Edward F. Ricketts's three philosophical essays—the 1939 version reproduced in this chapter is a fourteen-page typescript—“A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry” represents an attempt to “work out” his notions about breaking through and non-teleological thinking “in an actual, practical way in life.” Though classifying poets according their ability to convey or to trigger transcendence is undoubtedly subjective, it can be seen as an exercise, an experiment in how to implement Ricketts's philosophical modus operandi. The essay itself—particularly its discussion of the four “growth stages” of poets—is the most detailed analysis of literature Ricketts ever wrote, and reveals his scientific impulse to group and categorize objects in a world before his gaze, from intertidal specimens to poets. Indeed, the significance of a scientist venturing a detailed discussion of poetry becomes apparent when “A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry” is placed in the context of Ricketts's body of major writings: he sought to heal the breach between the seemingly disjointed worlds of the sciences and the humanities, championing instead a more integrated viewpoint.

Keywords:   Edward F. Ricketts, Spiritual Morphology, breaking through, non-teleological thinking, poets, poetry, sciences, humanities

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.