The Aesthetic Realism Explanation of Poetry

Aesthetic Realism


Taught by Ellen Reiss

Aesthetic Realism itself, with its unprecedented comprehension of people, arose from Eli Siegel’s explanation and teaching of poetry. Eli Siegel is the critic who showed truly what poetry is. He showed that poetry—because it is fair to the whole world and oneself at the same time, because it is logic and feeling as one thing, because it puts opposites together—answers the questions of every person’s life.

This class, taught by Ellen Reiss, the Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, continues what Eli Siegel began to teach in 1938: “Poetry…is the oneness of the permanent opposites in reality as seen by an individual.”

A prerequisite for attending this class is some previous study of Aesthetic Realism: either in Aesthetic Realism consultations, or through at least one semester of another Aesthetic Realism class.

The Spring-Summer semester of classes is now in session. For information about auditing classes, call the Registrar at 212.777.4490.

Text: Eli Siegel, “Poetry Is the Making One of Opposites,” in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known #521

Spring-Summer 2016 Semester



May 16: Poetry Is about Light and Dark—and So Are We


[May 30: No class, due to Memorial Day]


June 13: Talking to Someone: The Poetic Criteria


June 27: There’s Nature; and Poetry Asks, “How Should We See it?”


July 11: Time and Poetry: How Much Is Time Our Friend?


July 25: How Primitive Is a Poem?—How Cultivated?


August 8: A Line of Poetry Truly Liked


August 22: Is Happiness a Poetic Matter?


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Alternate Mondays, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Beginning date of this class: Mon, May 16

Fee: $60 per semester (7 classes)

Fee for auditing a class: $12

Ms. Reiss is the editor of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, where her commentaries can be read online.


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