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Poetics   


signifying one thing, or as consisting of several parts linked

together. Thus the Iliad is one by the linking together of parts,

the definition of man by the unity of the thing signified.

POETICS|21

XXI




Words are of two kinds, simple and double. By simple I mean those

composed of nonsignificant elements, such as ge, 'earth.' By double or

compound, those composed either of a significant and nonsignificant

element (though within the whole word no element is significant), or

of elements that are both significant. A word may likewise be

triple, quadruple, or multiple in form, like so many Massilian

expressions, e.g., 'Hermo-caico-xanthus [who prayed to Father Zeus].'

Every word is either current, or strange, or metaphorical, or

ornamental, or newly-coined, or lengthened, or contracted, or altered.

By a current or proper word I mean one which is in general use among

a people; by a strange word, one which is in use in another country.

Plainly, therefore, the same word may be at once strange and

current, but not in relation to the same people. The word sigynon,

'lance,' is to the Cyprians a current term but to us a strange one.

Metaphor is the application of an alien name by transference

either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from

species to species, or by analogy, that is, proportion. Thus from

genus to species, as: 'There lies my ship'; for lying at anchor is a

species of lying. From species to genus, as: 'Verily ten thousand

noble deeds hath Odysseus wrought'; for ten thousand is a species of

large number, and is here used for a large number generally. From

species to species, as: 'With blade of bronze drew away the life,' and

'Cleft the water with the vessel of unyielding bronze.' Here arusai,

'to draw away' is used for tamein, 'to cleave,' and tamein, again

for arusai- each being a species of taking away. Analogy or proportion

is when the second term is to the first as the fourth to the third. We

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