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Manuscripts show the poet wrangling the paradox, how to evoke in writing a mood unprofaned by form, visual or phonic.
[begin strikethrough]To breathe an elevated mood, by form[end strikethrough] [begin strikethrough]That elevated [?by] [end strikethrough] visible form By image unprofaned: or when I stood As night grew darker with the coming storm ...
Largely this seems to be a negative task, a "defence" (p.36): effort now is aimed to insure that the legacy remains "unprofaned ...
Through years of toil and soil and care, From glossy tress to thin, grey hair, All unprofaned she held apart The virgin fancies of her heart [127]
"Don't you realize," I said to him, "that this is the exact time that an estimated 80 million Americans will be glued to their seats watching the long-awaited and much ballyhooed final episode of The Seinfeld Show?" He exclaimed, without making any attempt to conceal his pride, that he had never watched even a single episode of America's favorite TV sit-com, a revelation that moved me to envy his mind that had remained virginal and unprofaned by a show whose emptyheadedness was exceeded only by its bad taste.
"The Mariposa stands," he wrote in his articles for the Boston Evening Transcript, "as the Creator fashioned it, unprofaned except by fire."
The narrator's quotation of Spenser gets "translated into the vulgate" by his traveling companion (Hazlitt 62); the boxing ring is "unprofaned by vulgar tread" (68); and his pretensions to "insider" status with the fancy (having first confessed this as his "first fight" [61]) culminate in the narrator's ambivalent recoil from and engagement with "Goths and Vandals" (72) who interrupt his post-game supper plan and draw him into debating the fight's fairness.
As I look up at Cassiopeia, I think of the famous passage about it as a place of unprofaned quiet in "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" in Henry David Thoreau's Walden.
Repeatedly through the poem we are "shown" "whate'er there is of power in sound / To breathe an elevated mood, by form / Or image unprofaned ..." (1799 Prelude 2.354-56).
Between the physical voice falling back, and the meaning of the utterance rushing in, Agamben says, there is the blank place of language (capital 'v' Voice, he names it) unprofaned, as it were, by form or image: The voice ...