Dragonfly's Poems

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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby DragonFly on January 4th, 2018, 9:32 pm 

For Positor: I went back to using your original verse, breaking some long lines into two, and that made it much easier.

I think I’ll put out the Rubaiyat II text version as a free iBook, in order to increase its circulation and for it to have a chance to go mainstream, and will probably make the illustrated version a free iBook, too, even though it’s the greatest book ever made.


On Philosophical Method
[No changes.]


On Philosophical Method

I relish the challenge of wacky ideas;
I’ll probe any theory to check it coheres.

I won’t dismiss angels or backward causation,
Infinity, thought waves, or even Creation;
I’ll ponder each premise, no matter how subtle,
Until I’ve produced a convincing rebuttal.

I trust that Existence adheres to strict rules,
Which humans may seek with sharp reasoning tools.
We may not succeed in our ultimate quest,
But that’s no excuse for not trying our best.

If Data and Logic advance hand in hand,
The bounds of our knowledge will surely expand;
So let us consider the unorthodox,
The better to loosen conceptual blocks.

Some types of philosopher shun this approach;
They waffle, and hate to let Reason encroach
Upon their unqualified relativism,
Which views simple facts through a scattering prism.

They see True and False as in no way distinct,
And scoff at Reduction, for ‘all things are linked’.
With such scorn for Method, how can we progress?
I think my approach has more chance of success.

So this is the principle which I hold dear:
Please keep your mind open, but make thoughts clear.




Dilettantes’ Delight

[No changes, but for adding one of yours…]

+ Personal theories may taste very nice,
With plenty of froth, and some acid for spice.
Many are fishy, a few are quite sweet,
But just about all are deficient in meat. +


Dilettantes’ Delight

Look at the forum for Personal Theories!
No reservations or diffident queries!
Only some highly unorthodox schemes
Proving the Cosmos is not what it seems.

Watch the succession of passionate dabblers!
Some can be classed as nonsensical babblers;
Some build on facts that they’ve poorly digested,
Certain of fame once their theories are tested.

Those of an iconoclastic proclivity,
Seized with the urge to debunk Relativity,
Argue for absolute motion or time;
Often their logic is mad but sublime.

Many objectors—perhaps a majority—
Brusquely dismiss academic authority,
Calling the experts dogmatic high priests
Keen to save science from ignorant beasts.

Some invoke Einstein to bolster their case;
Others have Newton’s idea of fixed space.
Misapplications of Michelson-Morley
Indicate amateur physics most surely.

The ones who admit that they're hopeless at figures
Prefer verbal beauty to algebra's rigours.
Their reasoning’s full of vague statements and fudges
For later refinement by technical drudges.

A few, who have real mathematical dash,
Can juggle equations with skill and panache.
It takes a researcher of worldwide renown
To scan the fine details and give the thumbs-down.

A personal theory is like a close friend
Its author feels morally bound to defend.
If critics attack, and it struggles to thrive,
He doctors it crudely to keep it alive.

Such loyal commitment seems rather a shame
In science discussions, where truth is the aim.
Attempts at rebuttal are doomed to frustration;
To hell with Karl Popper and falsification.

Concision’s a virtue; verbosity's vicious—
Long screeds without summaries make me suspicious.
If anyone reads them (which frankly I doubt),
It must be a nightmare to figure them out.

Personal theories may taste very nice,
With plenty of froth, and some acid for spice.
Many are fishy, a few are quite sweet,
But just about all are deficient in meat.

What do these mavericks hope to achieve?
Paradigm change, they appear to believe.
Sadly, although their ambition is strong,
Reason suggests that they’ve got it all wrong.




Methods of Science

[No changes but to use two lines for some.]


Methods of Science

Empiricists trust experience, while rationalists rely
On axiomatic principles, which logic can amplify.
The former eschew foundations,
Which philosophers often dispute;
The latter say observation's flawed,
So reason's the surest route.

Empiricists test their own theories,
Which they modify if they need to,
But deductions suffice for rationalists,
Whatever result they lead to.
The former cry ‘Metaphysics, ha!
What good has it done mankind?’
The latter dismiss them as pragmatists,
And damn them as unrefined.

This leads to much indignation,
As conflicting hypotheses clash;
At times, discussions get out of hand,
And the mods consign them to Trash.

To give up a personal theory,
On which one has lavished much care,
And bow to more cogent argument,
Is more than some folk can bear.



Sonnet:
Two Paths to Enlightenment

[No changes.]


Sonnet:
Two Paths to Enlightenment

As natural philosophy progressed
And rigorous procedures were evolved,
The method of hypothesis and test
Bore fruit, and age-old mysteries were solved.

But metaphysics was beset by gloom;
It had no clinching arguments to hand.
The brisk, no-nonsense views of David Hume
Competed with Kant’s theories, dense but grand.

Plain realism clashed with the sublime,
And still produced no obvious advance—
A pass that has continued in our time
With charlatans from Germany and France.

For knowledge, then, and practical appliance,
The brightest brains prefer careers in science.




+ The Sweet Land of the Free +

[No changes but for a title.]


The Sweet Land of the Free

Come, ye who languish in some frosty clime,
Or fret morosely in a peaceless time,
Let thought of cold or conflict now recede;
Imbibe with me a draught of the sublime.

I know a land where every stone is sweet;
Kind breezes vie to soften summer's heat,
The noon is gentle as the dusk or dawn,
And songs resound from each contented street.

When, after work in garden, road, or square,
Discerning folk to tree-lined yards repair
With fragrant wine to elevate the soul,
They sit and argue World and Spirit there.

Some speak about a realm beyond the sky,
Where God determines how we live and die.
Such pious words with distant mantras blend;
‘Tis vain to challenge Destiny, they sigh.

But men of action, with emphatic voice,
Assert the truth of human will and choice:
Experience reveals no Deity,
So let us cast off doctrine and rejoice.

Astrologers unfold their ancient charts
That carve the cosmos into rigid parts,
But keen observers indicate the flaws
Of strict reliance on unchanging arts.

They talk of final and initial states,
Which Science probes, and Theory adumbrates,
While Logic prunes the fancy's fecund tree
And frees the mind from dogma’s dismal straits.

One thinker ventures: ‘All must needs begin’,
But others note the fallacy therein:
A universe arising from a Void
Needs non-existence for its origin!

Discussion turns to arithmetic themes,
And plans for novel calculation schemes:
The Zero, and the Negative, and Root,
Which occupy an innovator’s dreams.

The puzzle of the genesis of Man,
The magnitude of Time’s historic span,
The stuff of stars, the levity of light,
All pass within the conversation’s scan.

The talk persists, the evening hours advance,
Attendants pour, and comely maidens dance,
Till wine, love, beauty, and enlightenment
Induce in all a deep ecstatic trance.




+ The Philosophy of Religion +

[No changes but for a title.]


The Philosophy of Religion

It's said that God eludes the grasp
Of Man’s imperfect mind;
That his transcendent qualities
Can never be defined.

Smart theologians reconcile
This fact through paradox,
While priests dispense with theory, and
Preach dogma to their flocks.

Theist philosophers, when asked:
“What do you mean by 'God’?”
Reply: “He is ineffable;
We find your question odd”.

The skeptic says: “Well, in that case,
He can’t be proved by logic”.
“Of course not”, comes the smug retort,
In manner pedagogic.

“So”, the believers carry on,
“If logic cannot cope,
There must be something complex there
(You get our point, we hope).

“Non-being’s simple, for it has
No attributes to list;
Since this does not apply to God,
He must, therefore, exist”.

“What question-begging balderdash!”
The atheist replies.
“One stroke of Occam's Razor must
Result in God’s demise.”

Agnostics of assorted kinds—
Don’t-knows, don’t-cares, and others—
Chip in, as do the humanists
Who say all men are brothers.

And so the great debate rolls on:
“Religion—truth or fable?”
The doctrines of conflicting faiths
Exacerbate this Babel.

Some bloggers bandy Darwin’s name;
Some mention Kant or Nietzsche.
Ah! such disputes will always be
A widespread human feature.


Mathematical Reality

( Or will the Oblads and the Tegmarks have the final laugh? )
+ Or will the Tegmark mathematicians have the final laugh? +


Mathematical Reality

If I told you that Existence and the Universe aren't physical,
You’d ask if I was kidding, or at least look highly quizzical,
And if I then proceeded to say all is mathematics,
You’d snort with disbelief, but praise my mental acrobatics.

There is a recent theory, though, that things in their totality
Are solved equations,
Which do not describe, but are, reality.
Mind-shattering complexity reflects their cosmic scope;
We couldn't fully reproduce them in our wildest hope.

And yet, if we had knowledge to the ultimate degree,
We'd find that they amount to everything we hear and see.
They're perfectly defined,
Admitting nothing vague or random,
Because they're made of numbers
And combining rules in tandem.

All these equations must exist, and have no need of God;
They constitute their own computer,
Though that may seem odd;
They don't require to be conceived by Man or other creatures;
They just sit there eternally as necessary features.

Now, whether this convinces you depends on your ontology;
You may, for instance, challenge it for reasons of theology.
The skeptics will declare the base assumptions unreliable;
Empiricists may claim the theory's quite unfalsifiable.

Should I proclaim it nonsense on conservatives’ behalf?
Or will the Tegmark mathematicians have the final laugh?




The Philosopher’s Dream

[No changes.]

The Philosopher’s Dream

I saw the world dissolve, and in its place
Appeared a numinous, effulgent face
Whose name was Truth;
With plaintive plea it bade me heed its homily,
Declaring Man a localized anomaly
It deemed uncouth.

And while it spoke, the dusky ether teemed;
Quanta of meaning physically streamed,
With contrails glowing.
The grave locutor called me to attention,
And told me of a network of Dimension
Beyond my knowing.

“Dear thinker”, it intoned, “your mathematics
Are limited to juvenile quadratics
And schoolroom surds.
You cannot grasp the Transcendental Rule,
Which would defeat the wit of Gauss or Boole,
Through signs or words.

“Permit me, though, to say that Space and Time
Are side-effects of something more sublime.
It may be solved
By humans if they finally attain
The necessary wisdom, when their brain
Is more evolved.”

I sighed in wonderment, alloyed with gloom,
For such a revelation seemed to doom
My lifetime search;
I understood why those with lofty aims
Seize on the grand but unsupported claims
One hears in church.

And then, amid the data-streams so bright,
I spied a hair-thin grid of laser light,
Or so I thought.
Its lines formed curious polyhedral sections,
Which the dynamic pattern of reflections
Served to distort.

“Those filaments”, the spirit-face explained,
“Allow co-ordinates to be obtained
In 7D.
For in this awesome, vast and complex realm,
Geometry can even overwhelm
Great gods like me.”

At every junction of the lucent net,
Some symbols from an alien alphabet
Dimly appeared.
I asked myself if I was really seeing
The key to some exalted plane of Being—
It was too weird!

But suddenly the whole perplexing scene
Fragmented into pixels on a screen,
Then faded out...
Though still I probe the riddle of Existence,
I now suspect the fruits of such persistence
Must be in doubt.




The Evolution of Ignorance

[No changes.]


The Evolution of Ignorance

The cerebral primate, the questioning ape,
By will, wile, and wisdom resolved to escape
The age-old routine of arboreal strife
And ventured towards a more purposeful life.

Across the savanna, persistent and bold,
Through desert and marshland, through tempest and cold,
We hunted and bred, and placated our gods
(A vital precaution for beating the odds).

The centuries passed, and we spread round the globe
And ever continued to query and probe;
The stars were exploited for magical arts,
And catalogued later with accurate charts.

Ad hoc explanations of natural facts
In terms of pure chance, or a Deity’s acts,
Gave way to grand theories, and greater reliance
On regular laws of empirical science.

We now possess data on issues as grand
As whether the cosmos will always expand
Till Time itself dies in the final dispersal,
Or whether we'll see a dramatic reversal.

Though saints’ revelations and oracles’ trances
Have sometimes retarded our wondrous advances,
Such tiresome diversions can never quite stall
The gain in our knowledge of things large and small.

Despite our assured individual death,
We look to the future while still we draw breath
And fervently hope that our species survives,
To give lasting meaning to previous lives.




+ The Two Types of Humans +

[The only change is to add a title
and some breaks into two lines]


The Two Types of Humans

Humanity can be divided broadly into two:
The folk who cherish certainty and guard a settled view,
And those who probe the points in search of synthesis;
Both types are represented on discussion boards like this.

Consider first the dogmatists, who can be further split
Into the would-be saints and seers who thrive on holy writ
And confident contrarians who circumvent hard queries
With modes that mods reject and shunt into Alt Theories.

Apologists of faith may harp on ancient myths or quarrels,
Condemn the modern world in terms of antiquated morals,
Anathematize reason as a tactic of the Devil,
Or put forth other statements at that qualitative level.

The mavericks—the ones who scorn the physics paradigm—
Incur the wrath of scientists for wasting precious time:
“All tests have proved you wrong,
So there is really no excuse...
Go on, then, show your formulae.
You can’t? Oh, what’s the use!”

In contrast, honest thinkers read, revise, and ruminate;
No inference is final, no result beyond debate.
The world’s a complicated place, and open-minded teachers
Can offer more enlightenment than cocksure public preachers.




Limericks
[Leo, etc., removed]


Limericks

You cannot have relative place
In the absence of physical space.
A ring’s not a ring
Without some kind of thing
In the middle to make it the case.

There was a philosopher, Quine,
Who said: “You can't hope to define
Two words and then claim
That they mean just the same,
But a rough similarity's fine”.

A solipsist’s given short shrift;
He propounds a conceptual shift,
But realists scoff
And bellow: “**** off!”
No wonder the poor fellow's miffed.

Some thinkers write books in a style
That percipient readers revile.
Kant’s prose may be dense,
But at least it makes sense—
It beats Derrida by a mile.

If your knowledge of science is rough,
You can get by at parties through bluff;
A random wisecrack
About Bohr or Dirac
Will probably serve well enough.




Understanding the Cosmos

[No changes other than some going to two lines.]


Understanding the Cosmos

Awestruck ancients wrote about the music of the spheres,
That great harmonious concert which eluded human ears.
The god with whose arithmetic each orbit is designed
Deserves unstinting daily praise
From feeble-brained mankind.

Suddenly the Lord saw fit to adumbrate the rules
That governed the celestial dance; but, since folk were fools,
He called up Isaac Newton to receive the sacred code
From which, by perfect logic, the divine equations flowed.

And so men came to understand how gravity constrained
The universe in such a way that order was maintained.
They likened the ensemble to a vast precision clock;
Then Relativity arrived and gave them all a shock.

They quickly grew accustomed
To the changeless speed of Light,
Yet paradoxes made them think something wasn’t right.
But any slight misgivings about twins’ inertial frame
Pale into insignificance when Quantum theory came.

Though no-one comprehends QM,
We’ve learned to live with it;
It always makes predictions that results precisely fit.
So now we seek a formula that covers everything;
We’ve thought of quantum gravity,
The multiverse, and string.

It seems there are some quantities which hold a vital key—
Some Planck amounts, like hbar, and trusty constant, c.
Though God is silent, all our hope of progress is not lost;
Smart minds still pursue the truth,
So keep your fingers crossed.




The Ultimate Question

[No changes.)


The Ultimate Question

It maddens curious minds
The fundamental mystery that sits unsolved:
What grounds the Universe, and disallows
Alternative Existence or the Void?

Simplicity, perhaps, demands
That Plus and Minus dance in equilibrium
Through time and space,
Two faces of a deeper unity;
But how can we explain the
Specific attributes of these opposing forms?

For zero-sums can be produced in many ways,
Diverse in quality and quantity.

One such is thorough Nothingness,
Subtracting naught from naught;
But such a mathematical idea
Cannot reflect Reality, because
The property of being real
Must hang upon a Thing;
Existence therefore reigns, and ever did.

So what accounts for Being’s size and shape,
And all the rich asymmetry
Of our bewilderingly complex world
Which science, by a slow and tortuous path,
Learns to describe?

Philosophers may feel it is their job
To conjure clever answers by transcendent nous,
Or prove by logical analysis
That which is must be.
But scientists declare themselves
Entirely capable of such profundity,
And properly equipped to test
Their speculations.

Meanwhile,
The ordinary folk who wonder at the world
Await enlightenment.




It's All About Being!

[No changes other than some going to two lines.]

It’s All About Being

Ontologists are clever folk; with academic vanity
They flaunt their high intelligence in works of great arcanity.
Some coin new words,
Or back their claims with specious etymology—
A common vice in much phenomenology.

Though Essence and Existence have contentiousness,
The moderns brought these concepts
To the acme of pretentiousness.
For laymen, reading Sein und Zeit is frankly ineffectual,
But existentialism wows your Paris intellectual.

Now, ‘being’ is a word that needs semantical analysis;
Confusion of its sense can cause conceptual paralysis.
The statement that an object ‘is’ asserts its bare reality;
It means it’s a constituent of Physical Totality.

So on its own the verb ‘to be’ denies a pure nonentity,
But followed by another noun it indicates identity;
Thus “Hesperus is Phosphorus” says there’s only one of it.
You might come up with more examples for the fun of it.

But sometimes ‘X is Y’ denotes a case of mere contingency;
The verb does not relate the terms
With hard defining stringency.
A weary citizen can say “The King’s a liability”,
Without implying that the Crown itself has no utility.

With adjectives, it often points to qualitative fixity;
It lets us mention some inherent trait without prolixity.
“The sun is hot” or “Water’s wet or “Solids are undrinkable”;
The object and its property are always fully linkable.

We also use the verb ‘to be’ for passing states or attitudes,
Whereby we don’t intend to utter existential platitudes.
If someone tells you
“I am bored” or “School is unendurable”,
They clearly aren’t insisting the condition is incurable.

So that’s what ‘being’ is—it’s nothing recondite or mystical;
It just requires an ordinary grasp of the linguistical.
It means a thing is ‘there’, or shows identity or quality.
Great verbal tours de force are signs of cerebral frivolity.



The Dichotomy

[No changes.)


The Dichotomy

Existence has two modes in parallel:
Alternative accounts that we may tell.
Our mind dictates the story in one case,
While in the other, physics forms the base.

Phenomena, as purely felt or thought,
Require no test or theory for support;
Invulnerable in their own domain,
Immune to doubt, or failure to explain,

They may be pondered, listed, schematized
In terms that German thinkers have devised,
And, (though the practicalists may appeal),
‘Tis vain to call such entities unreal.

Now turn to the materialist tale,
Where claims about the world may pass or fail
Experiments to show them false or true,
And aggregate to an objective view.

Here, Mind gives way to Brain; and things perceived
Are deemed veridical or disbelieved.
The cosmic truth, obscured to some degree,
Needs joint pursuit, and yields no certainty.

These two perspectives, facing In and Out,
Involve a paradox much talked about:
In one, I’m puny, brief, and commonplace,
But in the other, I’m the Hub of space.

By what strange cause am I embodied here?
By what caprice, or law, did ‘I’ appear?
May I conclude, on rationalist grounds,
That part of me surpasses spacetime's bounds?

Till some insightful sage comes to the fore,
Combining Einstein, Kant, Husserl, and Bohr,
Let us with dauntless optimism cling
To hope of synthesizing everything.



In the Beginning

[No changes]


In the Beginning

For us, who see events begin and end,
The universe is hard to comprehend.
If it be bounded, we would probe its wall;
If infinite, it mocks the notion ‘all’.

The trained and lay opiners in these threads
Engage, and find themselves at loggerheads,
For when they must abandon earthly norms,
Their intuition takes divergent forms.

Some hold that Time itself must needs commence,
While others claim that such a Start lacks sense.
So long as solid evidence is scant,
Both views seem flawed—as pointed out by Kant.

Some genius will one day find the key,
By gloomy toil or bright epiphany;
We must be patient, though advance is slow,
And modestly admit: We don’t yet know.



Time Travel Conundrum

[No changes]


Time Travel Conundrum

If I could travel back in time
And see the retrogressive clocks,
My wonderment, although sublime,
Would be alloyed by paradox.

For if I travel to the past
In terms of numbered days and years,
That time is what I cognize last,
And thus my present, it appears.

The future, as defined by date,
Is where I was before my trip;
But History should track my state
Of mind, with this subjective flip.

And so it seems our graphs require
Two axes, pointing ‘east’ and ‘north’,
To plot the timelines I acquire
As my machine flies back and forth.

Two time dimensions, three of space;
A highly complex 5D block.
‘Lived time’ that temporonauts face,
And time as measured by a clock.

The curves and loops that weave among
These five dimensions Nature draws
Confound ideas of ‘old’ and ‘young’
And complicate entropic laws.

If time machines are balderdash,
Reverse causation just a dream,
We may consign 5D to trash
And keep our four-dimensional scheme.




The Golden Rule

[No changes other than some going to two lines.]


The Golden Rule

Most reasonable people share the basic moral view:
Treat others as you would demand that others treat you.
But working out the details of this can cause much strife;
Emotion, ignorance, and dogma make such conflict rife.

Believers introduce ideas derived from holy writ;
They ask not “What do humans feel?”,
But “What does God permit?”.
Some outlaw mercy killing or abortion in this way,
While praising torture
(“Justified chastisement”, they would say).

Supporters of armed conflict, euphemized as self-defence,
Attempt to prove its rightness in a lofty moral sense.
They claim that civil ethics are a code that war transcends
In needfully exploiting folk as means instead of ends.

Utilitarians would maximise the sum of pleasure,
But such a nebulous idea is difficult to measure.
To weigh the pain of One against the comfort of the Many
Requires a subtle calculus (it’s doubtful if there’s any).

Conservatives embrace the Rule, according to their claim:
“I'll let you make a million bucks if I can do the same”,
While communists and fascists,
Like exclusive bands of brothers,
Omit class enemies from the reciprocated ‘others’.

Good liberals, whose list of human rights is quite prolific,
Are apt to err by making these too rigid and specific.
Eradicate death penalties? Democracy for all?
Can not the Rule allow anomalies, however small?

Ah, fallible Humanity! Your every noble word
Is mocked by Folly and Desire, and made to look absurd!
But though our prejudices taint our sense of the Ideal,
Our moral aspirations are unquestionably real.
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby Positor on January 5th, 2018, 1:44 am 

Dragonfly,

Can you please make the following changes or restorations:

On Philosophical Method
"Please keep your mind open, but make your thoughts clear."

Dilettante's Delight
Change to "Look at the essays on Personal Theories!"

Methods of Science
For consistency, divide the first 2 lines thus:
Empiricists trust experience,
While rationalists rely
On axiomatic principles,
Which logic can amplify.

Change "And the mods consign them to Trash" to "With cries of 'Rubbish!' and 'Trash!'"

The Philosophy of Religion
In last stanza, change "bloggers" to "writers".

Mathematical Reality
I would prefer the following lines not to be split:
"Are solved equations, which do not describe, but are, reality."
"They constitute their own computer, though that may seem odd."
I am happy with the line-splits in stanza 3.
In last line, change "mathematicians" (too many syllables) to "theorizers".

Two Types of Humans
3rd line doesn't scan - restore original version: "And those who probe disputed points in search of synthesis".
Change line 4 to: "Both types are represented in discussions such as this".
Change line 8 to: "With notions that the wise reject as groundless pseudo-theories".

Understanding the Cosmos
The line-splits seem rather random here; I think this poem reads better without any splits.
I would like the following words restored, as their omission unbalances the lines:
Stanza 1: "Deserved", not "deserves" (I am referring to the past). And "each orbit was designed".
Stanza 2: "Then suddenly".
Stanza 2: "but since most folk were fools".
Stanza 4: "...made them think that something wasn't right".
Stanza 4: "Paled", not "pale".
Stanza 6: "and the trusty constant, c".

The Ultimate Question
"That that which is must be". (Not a typo!)

I will give you my comments on the other poems as soon as possible.
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby DragonFly on January 5th, 2018, 2:26 am 

OK, all fixed.

In 'Understanding the Cosmos' I'll try to use a slightly smaller font for that poem to not have any split lines.


(Perhaps a mod could make a sticky of some of your poems to advise new members.)
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby Positor on January 5th, 2018, 11:02 am 

It's All About Being

This poem is strongly rhythmic, and its effect depends on a lack of pauses and an equal number of syllables (16) in each line. Therefore I would like all the lines to be unsplit, and the following restorations made:

Stanza 1: A common Continental vice in much phenomenology.

Stanza 2: Though Essence and Existence have historical contentiousness

Stanza 2: Italicize Sein und Zeit

Stanza 4: Thus "Hesperus is Phosphorus" declares there's only one of it

Stanza 4: Perhaps you might come up with more examples for the fun of it.

Stanza 6: Insert missing quotation marks after "Water's wet".

Stanza 8: Italicize tours de force.
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby Positor on January 5th, 2018, 10:31 pm 

In the Beginning

Stanza 2: Change first two lines to:
The trained and lay opiners, who abound,
Engage, but can attain no common ground.



Time Travel Conundrum

Last line: "And keep our four-dimension scheme."
("Dimensional" has too many syllables.)


The Golden Rule

Stanza 1:
"...that others treated you."
"But working out the details of this Rule can cause much strife."


That completes my amendments.
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby DragonFly on January 8th, 2018, 2:36 pm 

Free iBook of
‘Rubaiyat II Illustrated An Omarian Universal Day’

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1332572518
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Re: Dragonfly's Poems

Postby DragonFly on July 17th, 2018, 12:29 am 

FLORA SYMBOLICA

On the Lore and Legends of the Flowers

A tale I’ve written, invented, yes, hence
An attempt to unite the Christian pense
With the non-belief, in a middle ground,
Somewhere between mystery and good sense:

With flora mystical and magical,
Eden’s botanical garden was blest,
So Eve, taking more than just the Apple,
Plucked off the loveliest of the best.

Thus it’s to Eve that we must give our thanks,
For Earth’s variety of fruits and plants,
For when she was out of Paradise thrown,
She stole all the flowers we’ve ever known.

Therewith, through sensuous beauty and grace,
Eve with Adam brought forth the human race,
But our world would never have come to be,
Had not God allowed them His mystery.

When they were banished from His bosom,
Eve saw more than just the Apple Blossom,
And took, on her way through Eden’s bowers,
Many wondrous plants and fruitful flowers.

Mighty God, upon seeing this great theft,
At first was angered, but soon smiled and wept,
For human nature was made in His name—
So He had no one but Himself to blame!

Yet still He made ready His thunderbolt,
As His Old Testament wrath cast its vote
To end this experiment gone so wrong—
But then He felt the joy of life’s new song.

Eve had all the plants that she could carry;
God in His wisdom grew uncontrary.
Out of Eden she waved the flowered wands,
The seeds spilling upon the barren lands.

God held the lightning bolt already lit,
No longer knowing what to do with it,
So He threw it into the heart of Hell,
Forming of it a place where all was well.

Thus the world from molten fire had birth,
As Hell faded and was turned into Earth.
This He gave to Adam and Eve, with love,
For them and theirs to make a Heaven of.

From His bolt grew the Hawthorn and Bluebell,
And He be damned, for Eve stole these as well!
So He laughed and pretended not to see,
Retreating into eternity.

“So be it,” He said, when time was young,
“That such is the life My design has wrung,
For in their souls some part of Me has sprung—
So let them enjoy all the songs I’ve sung.

“Life was much too easy in Paradise,
And lacked therefore of any real meaning,
For without the lows there can be no highs—
All that remains is a dull flat feeling!

“There’s no Devil to blame for their great zest—
This mix of good and bad makes them best!
The human nature that makes them survive,
Also lets them feel very much alive.

“That same beastful soul that makes them glad
Does also make them seem a little bad.
If only I could strip the wrong from right,
But I cannot have the day without the night!”

So it was that with fertile delight Eve
Seeded the lifeless Earth for us to receive.
Though many flowers she had to leave behind,
These we have from the Mother of Mankind:

Eve gathered the amiable Jasmine,
Which soft exhales its breath of friendship,
And by a delicious fragrance in the night
Overpowers the stars with its sweet delight.

The Jasmine impregnates the dew each night
With its friendly perfume of good and right;
Thus morning’s incense carries its odour,
Keeping everyone in fresh good humor.

Love’s first emotion springs from the Lilac,
For it blooms when Nature is first aroused,
Thus it’s love’s youngest dream to all come back,
Where it will ne’er again remain unspoused.

When Thyme she sowed, the bees came all abuzz,
And all around it flew their dance of love.
So now we know that those who would savor
The sweets of love mustn’t neglect the flower.

Camphire, the scent of Paradise, inspires,
Reminding us to what our soul aspires,
When spontaneous desires overspill,
To tell us of duties we must fulfill.

Daffodils, arranged in their elfin way,
Wear their yellow skirts, like Fairies’ Dresses,
And brighten, through the spirit light of morn,
Into the fuller radiance of day.

Butterflies come to life in Pansies’ psyches,
Embodied by extension into flight.
They’re flowers floating on the air, propelled,
Leaving shadow prints behind on the petals.

The air fills with Honeysuckles’ scented nets,
From fairies blowing the honey trumpets,
While they sow vermilion red Geraniums
That grow wild into many countless sums.

The Golden-Throated Lilies sing at morn;
Maiden Flower blushes, its pureness reborn;
Star galaxies of Sunflowers sway,
Echoing the luminosity of day.

She picked some Dandelions ripe enough
To have gone from gold to just so much fluff,
Reminding us, when soft blown with a puff,
That time will spread us too amid the dust.

Chrysanthemums drink the mellow day;
Falling petals carry the light away.
The autumn fog enswirls, the mist upcurls;
Into nothingness the wisp slow unfurls.

Woodbine wets the air with its cooling musk.
Bluebells herald the dim and dewy dusk,
And ring the dance and song of evening knells,
Music tinkling in fairy festivals.

The Evening Primrose only in the night
Opens its cup to drink-in the moonlight,
Then gazes round with silent love and smiles,
Much as we would upon a sleeping child.

Its phosphorescent light guides the flight
Of the flying creatures that love the night.
It looks the swelling moon straight in the sight,
When they make love in the haunt of midnight.

Pearly Everlasting, frozen in time
By Eve’s purity, survives cold and rime—
It’s a bit of Heaven brought to our clime,
Where it still ignores the knell of Death’s chime.

With willowy grace, Eve fished with vines,
And the Willow yet throws out her lines,
As drooping branches that fill the streams
With tears for flowers that we’ve never seen.

The innocent Daisy, or the “day’s eye”,
Is a lot like the sun—it cannot die;
It far outlasts every other flower,
Shining even when the sun has no power.

Arbutus too, whose fruits and flowers of
Grew together in inseparable love,
Eve took along with her, as Heaven’s boon,
When she felt the kiss of the rising moon.

Out of God’s thunderbolt grew the Hawthorn,
On that day when man and Earth were born.
Its snowy blossoms of hope and union
Gave this blesséd world its first communion.

The fleecy Hawthorn sheds its summer snow
To remind us of our birth so long ago.
So Joseph’s Hawthorn staff along the way
Still blooms in winter on Christmas Day.

Hawthorn was once known by the name of May,
Its thorns by then having been bred away.
Thus for it the children went a-maying,
And built the maypole, all around it playing.

But the calendar was set back twelve days,
So Mayday was no more! Yet memory stays,
And the Queen of Blossom’s day is made
When writers and lovers seek out her shade.

Ever, the immortal Periwinkle,
Which, like the winter stars that twinkle,
Spreads through the snow its glossy flowers,
To remind us of the spring’s sunny hours.

Though laughing with all the smiles she wore,
Eve now more serious her burden bore
When she brought forth the mournful Asphodel,
Dedicating it to the souls of Hell.

The Asphodel sustains the Dis dwellers,
Where they rest beyond that fatal river;
There the wretched shades drink forgetfulness,
And to oblivion sink without distress.

Fireweed grows from Hell’s sulfurous embers,
As does Purple Loosestrife—dead men’s fingers;
But wildflower air revives the dead—so then
Those happy souls can thrive on Earth again.

Quick sprout the Buttercups, all bright and new,
Goblets from which the fairies drink the dew.
From the Eglantine springs poetry’s power—
It’s the only way to describe this flower!

The Heliotrope turns towards the sun,
Closely tracking its path throughout the day,
But when clouds appear or when day is done
It forgets about the sun and looks away.

Eve brought forth Magnolia’s magnificence,
The playful Hyacinth in its sprightly dance,
And Marigolds that follow the summer lost—
Enduring well into the final frost.

From the Poppy we gain full sensation,
Elation, and oblivion’s consolation;
When life’s miserable pain is too deep
It simulates death with a balmy sleep.

Growing in the cold, near the leafless trees,
Snowdrop bells ring out for friends in need;
They bring hearty hopes to those with hardships—
Icicles changed to flowers by friendships.

Eve carried forth Forget-Me-Not bouquets
That sprouted fast wherever heroes fell;
They bring back all of the happiest days
To sound in our hearts as memory’s bell.

Holly, the harbinger of spring desires,
Blooms all winter long, and with hope inspires
Our cold and dreary hearts to chime and ring
With good cheer and love for everything.

She took poisonous Foxglove and Nightshade
To balance with woe the good that she gave,
Offset by Amaranth, which if kept in shade,
Would not even after death ever fade.

And for the romantic art, Cupid’s Dart,
To spur men and women to make their move.
Connected by Nature’s arrow of love,
They deep impart the passion of the heart.

And Coral Bells, rung by bees and hum-birds—
A melody of tones without the words,
And airy sprays of frothy Baby’s Breath—
Gurgling with all that’s much too sweet to purge.

There, sweet spikes of aromatic Lavender—
Ready potpourri from Heaven’s splendor,
As all around lay the symbolic flowers—
To soft drowse the spirits into slumber.

Yet more we know from myth, lore, and legend,
Of flowers that gemmed the fields of Eden,
And from symbols and wisdom handed down
Through oral tradition in floral towns.

Wherever Eve breathed sprung floral dreams;
Ever she walked water followed in streams;
‘Ere she wept, tears bedewed the Earth in bloom—
A Cedar tree even grew from her tomb.

‘Dead’ flowers are reborn by Spring’s breath:
An ethereal floral wonderland
Of everlasting recollections, and
Some even retain their color after death,

Like Amaranth, as mentioned earlier,
Or Lasting Beauty, whose secret elixir
Grants us flowers red through a year of days—
Oh but that life and love would never fade!

Or Cedar, “life from the dead”, the emblem
Of eternity, as the preservation
Used for mummy cases and carved figures
That last ‘forever’: immortal rigor.

Tracking Eve’s trail throughout the ageless years,
We find Lady’s Slippers, Lady’s Fingers,
And Lady’s Smock—all parts of Madonna,
Her whole self, in fact, in Belladonna.

She wore a chaplet of sweetening buds
That burst in bloom when fed by air and mud,
And a garland of sprouts to strew about,
With a rosary of shoots to put out.

She scattered the Fern’s seed at midnight’s peal,
To ask that treasures of the Earth would reveal
The flowers of woods, waysides, and shorelines—
All remembered by florigraphic signs.

Eve planted the Tree of Life, from which we
Could obtain lumber, fuel, and homes, for free,
Plus weapons, wood, tools, food, and medicine—
To mold the Earth into a place we could live in.

And Clover bushes, the haunt of the bee,
Bamboo grass too, for home and social need,
And Lumeria, whose transparent seed
Looks much like the moon, in all honesty.

Continual Morning-Glories each dawn
Guarantee that day will always come on.
Bindweed and Honeysuckle yet entwist,
To tell us that lovers will ever persist.

The melancholy Thistle is a cure
For the blues when taken with wine that’s pure.
Chicory in blossoms maroon is clad,
Its young and tender leaves used for salad.

Eve gave freshness, fragrance, to the Lily,
And seized Hemlock, the Devil’s property,
Left us Hawkweed to clear the sight and wits,
And brought Hellebore to purge evil spirits.

The Hawthorn, here yet again, blooms redux,
Like Blackthorn in Christ’s crown, as thorns do,
Or as wood of the true cross where He died—
All seem to miraculously multiply!

Eve’s saplings drank of the Earth’s gushing breast,
And produced the primeval forest.
Somewhere this secret wood remains, unguessed,
The place where all man’s sorrows come to rest.

Life is a flower whose leaf is summer green,
Whose spring was purple passion Eglantine.
Although fall’s second spring may intervene,
The frost at last is the winter seen.

All Earthly pleasures dear to us Eve brought,
Provided by the Master’s afterthought:
Honey, juices, syrups—all hand wrought,
Nuts, berries, and fruits—nothing went for naught.

Eden’s sinful Apple, the cause of it,
Made for harsh apple cider, but when it
Was heated with sulfurous brimstone it
Then turned smooth, the Hell taken out of it!

The Clematis, with its clinging habit,
Makes shade of Travelers Joy at inn porches
For wayfarers wearied, warm, or unfit;
Its leaves are the clouds, its fruit: star torches.

From Quinine, medicine that could relieve;
Of Citron, cure for snakebite—death’s reprieve;
The Ginseng refreshes memory’s streams,
Calms the passions, and begets pleasant dreams.

Basil Leaf is a ticket to rapture,
Passion Flower, to atonement—a day-star,
And Yew, the oldest living thing on Earth,
Yet remains alive—six thousand years worth.

The Trefoil, for love, heroism, and wit,
Grants power o’er the banshees of moor and pit,
Who would steal the soul, and against all snakes
Poisonous—they scuttle into the lakes!

Edelweiss, a white flower most gallant,
Is the heart left by an angel visitant.
Mistletoe lends a green indoor refuge
To the wintering spirits of the wood.

The dusk deepens, night’s pot of tea steepens;
Silence descends, as when a gift opens;
Eventide rises. On high, Orion camps.
The eyes catch stars like fireflies in lamps.

Our shadows are touching, in the same shade—
We embody, in third dimension made;
We kiss, drift, cross into each other’s role;
Spirits open—rainbows meld in the soul.

If Nightshade you eat you’ll become as so,
And will see the ghosts, shades, and dark shadows
Of those who came before our humankind,
Those whose spirit-worlds overlap the mind.

The Tuberose is a dangerous pleasure,
Even when taken in but small measure:
Its exquisite scent has such great power
That it can wither you within the hour.

What’s that? Phantoms that are but a glimmer
Of the life and light of some halfway scene.
Of beings twixt man and angel, they shimmer,
As one might remember them from a dream.

They, cupid like, are the souls of flowers,
And wear petal cloaks and have wings that blur.
They sleep in Cowslips, where with childhood’s ear,
You, listening, all their music can hear.

They’re sylphs, tree spirits, wood folk, and fays
Gathered in posies of living bouquets.
Knowing well the language of the flowers,
They bestow their favors on the growers.

There’s a tunnel back to Eden’s Garden,
A funnel, really—our small end open,
And through this fairyland we’ll return, free,
To hang Adam’s Apple back on the tree.

Sprites shadowed Adam’s Eve throughout the land,
The seeds sprouting everywhere by their hand,
The growth blessed by a pixie’s twinkling wand
That showered the plants with a fine dewy sand.

The naiads too spread germinating seeds,
Among them these many blossoming deeds:
Perpetual-Flowering Carnations,
And sparkling Buttercup potions, as in

The silken saucers for Hollyhock tea,
In which a child could capture the wild bee,
To hear the aggravated buzz, in play,
Then unstung, free the bee to fly away.

The Elves grew Basil, Wolf’s-Bane, Cucumber,
Cinquefoil, Meadow-Saffron, and Germander,
Even Gillyflower and Primroses,
To which the fays gave their dewy kisses.

Cotton grew, woven by the wee people
Into clothes, with a whirling spinning wheel,
Whose spindle was the stinger of a bee,
Weavings that surpassed the spider’s best web.

Fireflies followed and lit the way for the
Little weavers who were chased by jealous
Spiders; the folk hid in a Cotton ball,
The spider finding nothing there at all.

The weed flowers came, marking autumn’s track,
The blossoms that almost brought the spring back,
But winter’s white death wrap was drawn over,
Smothering the earth’s last warm sweet odour.

Such then comes the end of summer’s dreams,
The blanching of the grassy banks of streams,
But all fragrances the elves remember
Through their sleep during the winter embers.

Youth and Beauty made agèd Winter mourn
For Summer’s grain—the waving wheat and corn,
For Old Autumn, withered, wan, had passed on,
Leaving the earth a widow, weather worn.

The blossoms fall, showers of fragrant beauty,
As leaves fade while the bulbs store up energy;
Faeries’ floral dreams grant this destiny,
For these leavings enrich earth’s potpourri.

Flowers lay their heads to sleep in soft beds,
Blanketed by webs of gossamer threads;
The fairy creatures cast their spectral glow,
As winter stars—floral twins—start to grow.

Later, when surely all the world is dead,
A fairy stands atop Old Winter’s grave
And says, “’tis not dead”, and by magic bred
Makes Snowdrops flower in the tomb’s heat wave.

Winter Aconite, an early flower,
Grows even under the season’s dim power,
And its bright corollas far out-splendor
The winter sun’s pale and paltry color.

Nymphs slide from their cocoons, their pinions
Yet wrapped and wet, then breathe the earthy air
That calls them forth into life’s dominion
To fly and flutter in flux here and there.

Flowers spring from the footfalls of a lass;
Foliage withers where evil spirits pass;
But where unknown colors shine fairies mass,
And drink the twilight dew off of the grass.

The elves blow their pipes to awaken
Nature’s Flora, that her step may quicken—
And from the odours memories recur,
As we’re given back our youth of summer.

The blooms are a crimson mist, in green blade,
Through yellow air, beyond the deep blue shade.
A white mist drifts through azure skies, bade
Toward purple mountains—fragrance of the glade.

In the spirit world, the grass is greener,
The hearts redder, and the passions pinker—
Orange, Cherry, and Violet are planted colors,
And twixt blue and green falls a new tincture.

Petunias grow wherever rainbows touch,
Their colors vibrant, a bouquet as such
Of rays that make the flowers glow so much:
Heaven’s prismatic radiance—life’s clutch.

Love is reason enough for its giving,
For beauty is its own excuse for being.
The doing of good becomes its own reward,
For the truth does best define its meaning.

In the luminous backwood haunts night plants
Are seen growing fast from the touch of nymphs:
Fairy’s Frocks, made of elfin sowing—of
Heart-halves of Lady’s Lockets joined in love.

At night, Tulip lamps light the lover’s gate,
As Hollyhock torches illuminate.
The secret hollows glow from Crocuses—
They’re cups of sunlight stored for the muses.

At woodland’s edge, wee folk leave sentinels,
The Bugle flowers, to announce to dells
The entrance of lovers into the wood,
So all can enjoy the amorous mood.

Wherever the elves themselves have romance,
Wild Pansies, known as Jump-Up-and-Kiss-Me,
Spring from the power of their loving dance—
Emanations from the sprites’ imagery.

The eyes love to rest on the sky of blue,
While Eve upon the greensward smiles at you—
A new life colors the world in between
Devils and Angels: Earth’s human pristine.

Eve set tufts of Anemones, fully blown,
Ever after given as the wind’s own,
And vines, wreathing and twining, overgrown,
And odoriferous blooms in bunches sown.

Across the lea and on the moor she shows.
Along the lane and through woodland meadows,
Eve—Mother Nature—yet lives in boughs
And thickets, still imparting all she knows.

Some flowers close, protecting their pollen
By “sleeping”, some at morn, some at even,
Some at other flower-clock hours—somewhen;
And some, like Jewelweed, never open.

The glow worms, fairy stars come down to ground,
Gleam the shadowy woods through summer’s round;
Then fall’s leaves flutter through the quiet air,
The autumn being the sunset of the year.

Brown is Death’s coloring of all that grows,
So faeries don’t allow it in their rainbows,
But beyond the spectrum, where we can’t see,
New hues paint their phantom activity.

Elves find Venus shining in broad daylight,
Knowing where to look as if it were night,
Then follow her as the evening star,
Till with her fiery lover she takes flight.

Just before dawn, amid the dew and moss,
Elves ride on a moonbeam made of Bugloss,
And see the North Star and the Southern Cross
In the same sky, ‘most all the way across.

Now the Earth is very old, but each spring it
Turns young again when nature reinvents it,
Constructing the Temple of Flora outside,
In desert, field, wetland, woodland, and wayside.

Spring kisses the earth, leaving flowers there,
Like those whose perfume first scented virgin air,
As again, the fragrant glen, in Heaven’s prayer,
Hails Earth’s anniversary with flowers fair.

Slake love’s thirst for life’s earthly endeavor
Near a stream where wildflowers grow forever.
Flowers influence our feelings—deep they roam:
Flora’s fairest flowers compose Heaven’s poem.

The pure white flowers of Paradisea grow
Only within the sub-alpine meadow,
Not to mention Sundrop, Saffron, Twinflower,
Pomander, and a thousand other flowers.

For supper, Eve savored salad made from
Thyme, Mallow, Bibleleaf, and Sugarplum,
All edible and flavorful flowers,
Mixed with Chervil, Lovage, and Sunflower.

The Lavender, Rosemary, and Sage all
Release fragrance when crushed by a footfall,
So herbs are strewn on floors to clean and scent:
Odoured ornaments preventing aliments.

Early Sage, before it became dilute,
Kept man immortal—an ever-green root.
Though now diminished in its once great power
It still keeps us healthful in summer’s bower.

The Crown Imperial refused to hang
Its head at the foot of the cross, so vain
And proud of its majestic reign—so now
Its petals must droop and weep nectar rain.

Heaven’s patron of arts, grace, and license
Left us sweet-smelling plants with flowered scents
And aromas redolent—florescence
In flush and prime of days reminiscent.

Blooms have eternal life in Heaven’s glade—
An ethereal floral wonderland
Of everlasting recollections;
Oh but that mortal life would never fade!

When Eden fell, all elfin creatures too
Were loosed with Eve into the world anew.
They’re tenders of the precious flowers few,
Of the flora that in the Garden grew.

There! What uncanny things flock, in between,
Unknown in the shadows, there but unseen?
They’re dream-visions—completing the triad of
Earth’s Heavenly things, with flowers and love.

Breathe flowered air and you’ll never know death,
Your incarnate life an eternal wreath.
Breathe ambrosial incense, balm, and spice
Of flowers as fragrant as a fairy’s breath.

Eve’s elves gave us the taste of Strawberry,
The messages of the Honeysuckle,
The signals of Wisteria, and the once
Neglected memories of Rosemary,

And the sweet breath of purple Violets
With the enamored voice of rivulets,
And Scarlet Pimpernels, that aft nice days pass,
Enfold—they are the poor man’s weather-glass!

And brilliant clumps of Blue Delphiniums,
Soft Irises and sharp Nasturtiums,
Dewy-eyed Pensings, velvet smooth and dear,
And Lilies of the Valley—they’re Eve’s tears.

Eve carried Myrtle too, meaning perfume,
To rouse Beauty from her watery tomb:
Myrtilla rose from the sea in old Greece,
Adding Myrtle sprigs to the laurel wreath.

The arts were first born from the Acanthus,
In the wreaths of it made at tournaments—
They’re engraved in the columns of Corinth
As Greek architectural ornaments.

Vervain too, with the power that enchants;
It brings on visions of a sweet romance,
Gathered as Druids did, by inner sight,
When Sirius rose against the moonless night.

Orange Blossoms are generosity’s shower,
Being at once fruit, foliage, and flower.
They bear the legendary apples golden—
Often guarded by a ne’er-sleeping dragon.

For remembrance, Eve brought us Rosemary,
The Lily too, white for its purity,
And the Tulip, which does declare its love
By the truth which it is the beauty of.

But all the flowers mentioned herein above
Would not have made this life worthy of,
So Eve took the Rose—the bloom of love,
Right under the eyes of Heaven above.

The Rose was pure white when it first was born,
Until she kissed it with her ruby lips—
Or ‘came it red when Venus fell on a thorn,
Rushing to the aid of struck Adonis?

Or did the Rose sprout forth, all fully blown,
From the heart of a Goddess, do you think?
Or was it out of Cupid’s nectar grown,
When he poured to Earth that Heavenly drink?

Or when the nightingale, with hope forlorn,
Overpowered by the Rose’s perfume,
Impaled itself in love upon her thorn,
Then revived in the beauty of the bloom?

With the Rose the Earth is rich forever;
It’s born from spring’s dying kiss to summer,
And wears all the gems that the dew has wreathed,
Blooming wherever summer’s breath has breathed.

The winds make love to the flowers of May—
The woods burst with the joy of Eve’s bouquet!
Like Flora we too from Eden have come;
From all that’s gone before we are the sum.

Now Heaven’s favors are spread all around,
For the flowers, fully blossomed and grown,
Wave and smile, as miracles from the ground—
Reminding us all of what love has sown.
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