Have been puzzling inconclusively all morning about how this concept of mediation and proportion applies practically to poetry, & what we do with that.
There's something there, but I haven't quite got at it yet.
Thinking about "dynamic symmetry", a term introduced about a hundred years ago to refer to artistic applications of the Golden Section. The Golden Section, or Golden Ratio : pervasive in ancient/classical art and architecture, due to its comparable pervasiveness in nature (geometry of seashells, sunflowers, the human body, etc.), and also to its curious "dynamic" spatial applications. (It's the mathematical ratio derived when you divide any space into two unequal parts, such that the ratio or proportion of the smaller part to the larger part, equals the ratio of the larger part to the space as a whole. See Wikipedia entry for details.)
What if we imagined some kind of equivalent ratio of symmetry/design in poetry. Not necessarily numerical (such as applying the Fibonacci series to line-counts, etc. - which has been done...). Rather a more abstract concept, some kind of harmonic synthesis. What would be a "ratio of equilibrium" between, say, the medium & the message - such that both medium & message interpenetrate in a dynamic, expansive, resonant way?
Again, I think about this notion of a convergence of opposites. Say the poem is the offspring (& the poet the midwife) of the union of nature & art. So we have these relatively free-standing, integral objects (each with its own internal gyroscope). They are not necessary, in the sense of utilitarian, functional : but they are necessary (if literature is necessary at all) in the sense of invitations to wholeness, awareness, growth, joy, freedom...
A. Pushkin, in a line addressed to his fellow poets, cries : "Ye Sons of Harmony!" (Let's revise that to : Sons & Daughters.) Resonance...
One could gaze Pythagoras-like for a long time into this abyss of harmonic ratios, of mediating proportions. In a cosmos of binary pairs, what is it, exactly, that binds together black/white, night/day, up/down, near/far, joy/sorrow...? The logos or ratio finds affinities : brings unexpected, contrary, seemingly incommensurate things into relationship (harmony). We think of this as the essential process of reason, the intellect itself. What is a metaphor, but the discovery of a previously unseen perceptual or cognitive "rhyme"?
Maybe we start to get a glimpse of the underlying, formative process of poetic making - always devising new wholes (works of art) out of these harmonic discoveries (of things brought into proportionate relationship).
These ideas seem again awfully vague & abstract. But I'm thinking about how they might somehow apply in more specific evaluations. The difference, say, between an indifferent jumble of words, anecdotes, statements, emotions, catch phrases, cliches or undigested imitations, on the one hand - & an integrated whole : a real synthesis of working parts, a new discovery, an intense and unforgettable summation.