Mark Jarman: To Make the Final Unity – Metaphor’s Matter and Spirit (January 2006)
Mark Jarman reflects on the “religious aspects” of metaphor, suggesting that metaphors can invoke a kind of original unity. Jarman also suggests, drawing on Frost’s idea of “the greatest attempt that ever failed,” that these metaphors, and that imagined unity, must necessarily break down. He looks at Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” W.S. Merwin’s “The Present,” Philip Levine’s “Let Me Begin Again” and Chase Twitchell’s “The Myths” to show what metaphors can reveal when they break down in a dynamic way.