Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

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Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on September 4th, 2015, 10:01 pm 

What, would you say, is the main difference between poetry and philosophy? Aren't they both trying to describe what is there and what is it like? Some of my favorite philosophers would be considered by many to be poets, for example Rumi and Goethe.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on September 5th, 2015, 11:26 am 

Why not? Both are looking at the wonders of our world and asking why or what. But then, poets can be found everywhere - wherever there is an opportunity to see and wonder. How about T S Eliot?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby Darby on September 5th, 2015, 12:33 pm 

Comparing poets to philosophers {or more accurately, tenured professors of philosophy) is a bit like comparing a movie poster to the movie that inspired it. Poetry evokes in brief what philosophical treatises embody/describe/analyze in far greater detail. All things being equal in terms of quality and eloquence, the essential differences lie primarily in length, scope and linguistic form (i.e., poetry vs prose). That's not to say that a poet cannot pen a treatise of philosopy, but rather than the tools and forms used by both professions differ substantially.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on September 5th, 2015, 12:58 pm 

Indeed, Darby, they do differ substantially in both tool and form. Something else, also, I think. When you start reading a philosophical treatise, you are given the concept first. You know where you are going. With the poet, you often have to know where he is coming from. Isn't that why poets are sometimes not appreciated? The reader doesn't know the history that led to the poem and spends too much time telling us what the author meant - which may not be what the author meant at all. I can't explain it quite right but poetry wants a different kind of reading.

All that said, I do not understand this: "Comparing poets to philosophers {or more accurately, tenured professors of philosophy) is a bit like comparing a movie poster to the movie that inspired it." Both are forms of literature, each to be enjoyed by those who enjoy that form. And how do you know which inspired which?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby mtbturtle on September 5th, 2015, 2:34 pm 

Both are metaphorical languages. Accoring to Lakoff and Johnson in Metaphors We Live By

Since the time of the Greeks, there has been in Western culture a tension between truth, on the one hand, and art, on the other, with art viewed as illusion and allied, via its link with poetry and theater, to the tradition of persuasive public oratory. Plato viewed poetry and rhetoric with suspicion and banned poetry from his utopian Republic be-cause it gives no truth of its own, stirs up the emotions, and thereby blinds mankind to the real truth. Plato, typical of persuasive writers, stated his view that truth is absolute and art mere illusion by the use of a powerful rhetorical device, his Allegory of the Cave. To this day, his metaphors dominate Western philosophy, providing subtle and elegant ex-pression for his view that truth is absolute. Aristotle, on the other hand, saw poetry as having a positive value: "It is a great thing, indeed, to make proper use of the poetic forms, ... But the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor" (Poetics 1459a); "ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh" (Rhetoric 1410b).But although Aristotle's theory of how metaphors work is the classic view, his praise of metaphor's ability to induce insight was never carried over into modern philosophical thought. With the rise of empirical science as a model for truth, the suspicion of poetry and rhetoric became dominant in Western thought, with metaphor and other figurative devices becoming objects of scorn once again. Hobbes, for example, finds metaphors absurd and misleadingly emotional; they are "ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention and sedition, or contempt" (Leviathan, pt. 1, chap. 5). Hobbes finds absurdity in "the use of metaphors, tropes, and other rhetorical figures, instead of words proper. For though it be lawful to say, for example in common speech, the way goeth, or leadeth hither, or thither; the proverb says this or that, whereas ways cannot go, nor proverbs speak; yet in reckoning, and seeking of truth, such speeches are not to be admitted" (ibid.).
Locke, continuing the empiricist tradition, shows the same contempt for figurative speech, which he views as a tool of rhetoric and an enemy of truth:
... if we would speak of things as they are, we must allow that
all the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness; all the artifi-cial and figurative application of words eloquence hath in-vented, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment; and so indeed are perfect cheats: and therefore, however laudable or allow-able oratory may render them in harangues and popular ad-dresses, they are certainly, in all discourses that pretend to inform or instruct, wholly to be avoided; and where truth and knowledge are concerned, cannot but be thought a great fault, either of the language or person that makes use of them.... It is evident how much men love to deceive and be deceived, since rhetoric, that powerful instrument of error and deceit, has its established professors, is publicly taught, and has always been had in great reputation. [Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk. 3, chap. 10]
(190-191)
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby TheVat on September 5th, 2015, 3:19 pm 

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174503

The link is to the poem, 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, which for me leads my mind into phenomenology. Good poetry, especially from authors like Wallace Stevens or TS Eliot or Gary Snyder, can lead you to philosophical ruminations. So I find Hobbes and Locke, in Turtle's excerpt, to be a bit harsh on poetry. It can be more than distraction of metaphor. Some even call Bob Dylan a philosopher; can't say they're wrong.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on September 5th, 2015, 3:27 pm 

Apparently not all scientists feel that antagonism. John Bahcall, astrophysicist, used this in his presentation at the Neutrino 2000 conference.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

--- from "Little Gidding" by T S Eliot.

Then there are T S Eliot's thoughts on our searches and experiments. I'm not sure how much of this I'm allowed to quote. He talks of all we are learning and then ends with:

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

He was a bit of a pessimist, maybe? I'd best stop. But, bless Aristotle. Poetry does have its place in our world, just as has music and anything else of beauty including the universe and what scientists are finding out about it. It's a good balance. Boston University seems to have come to the same conclusion.

Thank you, though, for the quote of others. One of the pleasures of being an onlooker is getting to constantly enjoy both sides of the ticket and see the picture as a whole without having to take sides. And isn't it good to be able to enjoy a field of science while also enjoying a work of art? I had a friend who was a doctor. He often said he regretted never getting to read any of the Great Books. He was too busy studying medicine. We need both to keep us in balance. I think art and science can get along together very well. Let's enjoy both.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on November 6th, 2015, 8:53 pm 

Darby » September 5th, 2015, 11:33 am wrote:Comparing poets to philosophers {or more accurately, tenured professors of philosophy) is a bit like comparing a movie poster to the movie that inspired it. Poetry evokes in brief what philosophical treatises embody/describe/analyze in far greater detail. All things being equal in terms of quality and eloquence, the essential differences lie primarily in length, scope and linguistic form (i.e., poetry vs prose). That's not to say that a poet cannot pen a treatise of philosopy, but rather than the tools and forms used by both professions differ substantially.


Hello and sorry for the late reply. My question is not so much about method, but intent. Are poetry and philosophy after the same end goal? And are both not equally successful at achieving it?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 6th, 2015, 11:55 pm 

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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on November 7th, 2015, 9:33 am 

nooor » November 6th, 2015, 7:53 pm wrote:
Darby » September 5th, 2015, 11:33 am wrote:Comparing poets to philosophers {or more accurately, tenured professors of philosophy) is a bit like comparing a movie poster to the movie that inspired it. Poetry evokes in brief what philosophical treatises embody/describe/analyze in far greater detail. All things being equal in terms of quality and eloquence, the essential differences lie primarily in length, scope and linguistic form (i.e., poetry vs prose). That's not to say that a poet cannot pen a treatise of philosopy, but rather than the tools and forms used by both professions differ substantially.


Hello and sorry for the late reply. My question is not so much about method, but intent. Are poetry and philosophy after the same end goal? And are both not equally successful at achieving it?


Are their end goals the same? IMO, somewhat but I suspect a perfect answer depends on from what period in history you take philosophy. Some elements of philosophy are quite poetic in themselves. Others are more empirical which poetry is not.

Are they equally successful? Equal to what? Each in his own field? Some are; some are not. In relation to each other's field, I'm not sure that is possible. The poet is showing us the beauty of the universe. The (scientific) philosopher is showing us why the universe is beautiful. We must ask how well each understands the other's works.

Again, though, making comparisons depends on which stage of philosophy you are asking about, don't you think?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on November 7th, 2015, 9:51 am 

mtbturtle, I think I have to feel sorry for Plato, Hobbes and Locke. Like many poets, they never got a touch of education from the other side of the fence. They do not understand the methods and outcomes of poetry any more than a lot of poets understand the theory of relativity or space/time. Just one thing they were lacking - a willingness to say so. What do you think?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on November 7th, 2015, 11:55 am 

Darby » September 5th, 2015, 11:33 am wrote:Comparing poets to philosophers {or more accurately, tenured professors of philosophy) is a bit like comparing a movie poster to the movie that inspired it. Poetry evokes in brief what philosophical treatises embody/describe/analyze in far greater detail. All things being equal in terms of quality and eloquence, the essential differences lie primarily in length, scope and linguistic form (i.e., poetry vs prose). That's not to say that a poet cannot pen a treatise of philosopy, but rather than the tools and forms used by both professions differ substantially.


Also, philosophers often use metaphors and poets will often write in free-verse. “The American critic John Livingston Lowes in 1916 observed 'Free verse may be written as very beautiful prose; prose may be written as very beautiful free verse. Which is which?'[5] “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_verse

Both philosophy and poetry have metaphysics as an end-goal. Both philosophy and poetry use language and similar linguistic tools, but to varying degrees. Where do we draw the line, saying this is philosophy and this is poetry? I suppose what is bothering me, is that when I read the writing of philosophers, they will often talk in metaphors then use the metaphor to arrive at a metaphysical conclusion, much like poets. But for some reason we, as readers, are supposed to them more seriously than we would a poet. Should we take the conclusions of philosophers more seriously? And, if so, why?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby Positor on November 8th, 2015, 10:32 pm 

We may express in free verse
The mystery of uncreated matter
And originless energy,
Varying our tone
According as we describe
The splendidly fortuitous aggregation of lifeless corpuscles
To achieve the miracle of animated being
In plants and striving beasts
And then in half-perverse, half-logical humanity
With all its beautiful potentiality of love,
Or, on the other hand,
The stark dissolution
Of creatures at life's end,
And, far in the future,
Of Structure itself.


The sonnet can encapsulate much thought
Within its elegant iambic lines,
And poets – calm, ecstatic, or distraught –
May craft its style to fit their own designs,
Perhaps to offer sempiternal truth
In weighty words to unenlightened proles,
Or patiently explain to the uncouth
The subtle angst besetting tender souls.
Some sybaritic bards may be inspired
By DragonFly's voluptuary art
To speculate about the laws required
To cause such cosmic luxury to start.
Be one's ideas in earnest or in jest,
This form of verse will give them interest.


The limerick form is concise,
But brevity comes at a price;
One can rarely convey
Deep concepts this way,
Though sometimes five lines will suffice.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby wolfhnd on November 8th, 2015, 11:16 pm 

I have been asking a similar question of late about religion. Is one theology as good a another much as one may compare the fashions of one culture to another. More specifically the question becomes can you simply dismiss the aesthetic that religion adds to concepts of morality? Art, music and poetry are often incorporated into religious ceremony and seem to satisfy some fundamental need of people to feel connected to their belief system

Early civilization seem to be intimately tied to religious observance and obviously religion can serve as the glue that holds people together. If as it seems we are losing our religions what replaces the emotional glue they once provided and that philosophy or science doesn't seem to offer?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 8th, 2015, 11:43 pm 

wolfhnd » November 8th, 2015, 11:16 pm wrote: the glue that holds people together.


The stodgy elevation of doctrine over ethics
Will no longer carry the day, and there will be less
Emphasis on believing, and more on belonging.
All will become more democratic, with much singing.

The Bible will be seen to be of but human construction,
A result of human instinct, frailty, fear, and no wisdom;
So, people actively speaking to each other, with laughter,
Will come to replace the passive readings from scripture.


from 'Austino's Holy Quest':

https://austintorney.wordpress.com//?s=holy+quest&search=Go
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 8th, 2015, 11:52 pm 

Positor » November 8th, 2015, 10:32 pm wrote:Or, on the other hand,
The stark dissolution
Of creatures at life's end,
And, far in the future,
Of Structure itself.


Ah yes, the End is often ignored or at least put aside to focus on the Beginning, but here we have a vision of the sparse and far flung Future, in 'After the Stars Have Gone—The Final, Silent Dark':

https://austintorney.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/after-the-stars-are-gone-the-final-silent-dark-epic-art-scapes-poem-and-video/
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby wolfhnd on November 9th, 2015, 1:48 am 

DragonFly » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:43 am wrote:
wolfhnd » November 8th, 2015, 11:16 pm wrote: the glue that holds people together.


The stodgy elevation of doctrine over ethics
Will no longer carry the day, and there will be less
Emphasis on believing, and more on belonging.
All will become more democratic, with much singing.

The Bible will be seen to be of but human construction,
A result of human instinct, frailty, fear, and no wisdom;
So, people actively speaking to each other, with laughter,
Will come to replace the passive readings from scripture.


from 'Austino's Holy Quest':

https://austintorney.wordpress.com//?s=holy+quest&search=Go


Actually I was addressing the original post in that philosophy has a need for an "aesthetic". Ritual and ceremony are an art form somewhat divorced from intellectual content but not necessarily irrelevant. The 60s counter culture had it's music scene and while I would argue the philosophical underpinning was fairly unsophisticated you could also argue that the music had more impact do to popular appeal at least with the general population at an emotional level.

I think we should be very careful in assuming that democracy can be equated with justice or that doctrine is for the weak minded. If the democratic song becomes the shouting of the mob then it is only doctrine that protects the minorities from the interests of the majority. It is the soundness of the doctrine which we could equate with the rule of law that makes civilization possible. In today's world it isn't so much democracy that dictates the level of civilization a society has reached but the degree to which it adheres to the doctrine of human rights.

Human rights have been largely built upon stodgy philosophy but there in is the problem in so far as it doesn't provide the traditional manners or rituals that make civilization emotionally rewarding.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on November 9th, 2015, 7:40 am 

wolfhnd » November 8th, 2015, 10:16 pm wrote:I have been asking a similar question of late about religion. Is one theology as good a another much as one may compare the fashions of one culture to another. More specifically the question becomes can you simply dismiss the aesthetic that religion adds to concepts of morality? Art, music and poetry are often incorporated into religious ceremony and seem to satisfy some fundamental need of people to feel connected to their belief system

Early civilization seem to be intimately tied to religious observance and obviously religion can serve as the glue that holds people together. If as it seems we are losing our religions what replaces the emotional glue they once provided and that philosophy or science doesn't seem to offer?


Wolfhnd, I think the answer to your question is "That's why many do not let go of their religion - it gives them something to believe in; something to trust in. As for it holding them together, yes, that is part of it. But there is more. There is the feeling of a need for the security of a father-figure who will provide and protect. Mankind has a sense of weakness that the "Father God" takes care of. And since no one - not even a scientist with his grand laboratories or a philosopher with his wisdom - can prove this God does not exist, they continue to trust. There is security in what we know- or think we know..


And who says they are wrong?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 9th, 2015, 1:21 pm 

— The Prison —

We can never share a mind directly,
For there is no access; we are alone.
Mind melding works only for the Vulcans.
This loneliness leads us to company.


— Loneliness —

The unbearable solitude of consciousness
Is relieved by literature, social clubs,
Movies, caring, friendships, discussion, writing,
And other sharing acts, but, mostly, by love.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 9th, 2015, 1:42 pm 

BENEATH, BELOW, AND FURTHER

In succession due does the large give way and rule
To the ever smaller, the tiny, the minuscule,
And onto the negligibly insufficient ‘awol’
Of not really much of anything there at all.

Yet it was at this bottom herefrom that the all
Of the upward progression began its call,
And so here the answer lies to the sprawl,
At the boundary where nature wrote its scrawl
Of existence upon the foam, and back and forth,
A place not necessarily like that we think it is,
A lawless, formless realm that’s ever been the quiz.

Stability too has decreased woefully,
Melting within our descending journey,
And so we must meet the perfect instability
Of the potentially perfect symmetry that cannot be,
For not only is it that everything must leak
But that there can be not even one more antique
Of a controlling factor lurking about,
For of anything else we’ve totally run out.

Here then the pulsations and the throbbings
Of the so-called vacuum that must ever swing
Between here and there, ever averaging to not much
In its rise and fall, alternating here and varying.

Here Eternity and his elemental fellow rhymes
Of Anything and Everything bide their times,
Of which they have and always had continually
All of the time of everlasting perpetuity,
And so then if one waits long enough,
Which is but an instant in Forever’s trough,
Say for a months of Sundays in donkey’s years,
Then not only do the rarest of events come to pass,
But eventually so do all things possible that can last.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby TheVat on November 9th, 2015, 1:49 pm 

Both philosophy and poetry have metaphysics as an end-goal. Both philosophy and poetry use language and similar linguistic tools, but to varying degrees. Where do we draw the line, saying this is philosophy and this is poetry? I suppose what is bothering me, is that when I read the writing of philosophers, they will often talk in metaphors then use the metaphor to arrive at a metaphysical conclusion, much like poets. But for some reason we, as readers, are supposed to them more seriously than we would a poet. Should we take the conclusions of philosophers more seriously? And, if so, why?
- Noor

Perhaps better to meter our level of serious respect to the specific content and how it enhances our own thinking/reflecting on life and life's persistent questions. Some poems have taken me farther than entire tomes of analytic philosophy. OTOH, some short philosophic essays, e.g. Thomas Nagel's famous paper on what it's like to be a bat, or Derek Parfit's imaginary transformation into Marilyn Monroe, have set my mind soaring and prompted me to much philosophic investigation. If there is a line to be drawn between these two forms, I think it might roughly be a border between a rigorous analysis of experience and the deep palpation of the textures of experience. Philosophy tends to be an analytical map to reality and perception, where poetry is more of an immersion in it. Philosophers tend to use tools like logic, where poets may deliberately subvert logic. There are gray areas, for sure.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 9th, 2015, 2:05 pm 

Braininvat » November 9th, 2015, 1:49 pm wrote:
a rigorous analysis of experience


I have to smile at some of those papers, boring as they mostly are, being so formally serious as to even have math such as things forming a set, going on to equations that become more and more unintelligible, when plain words could do so much more; however, note that infinity times zero = the finite unity of 1, or perhaps the largest times the smallest, such a N times 1/N = 1.

The real question is how big of a load can the universe carry, which we are currently testing out with cats and bigger and bigger fish.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on November 10th, 2015, 7:33 pm 

If there is a line to be drawn between these two forms, I think it might roughly be a border between a rigorous analysis of experience and the deep palpation of the textures of experience. Philosophy tends to be an analytical map to reality and perception, where poetry is more of an immersion in it. Philosophers tend to use tools like logic, where poets may deliberately subvert logic. There are gray areas, for sure.

-BIV

This might be true but, when compared to the language of mathematics, the “rigorous analysis of experience” provided by either philosophy or poetry pales in comparison. To use a metaphor, it’s like comparing driving a car to riding a horse or a donkey. In my analogy, the car represents math, but I don’t know which animal represents poetry or philosophy. Compared to driving a car, I think donkeys and horses are equally good at getting you places.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on November 17th, 2015, 12:57 am 

Also, BIV, you probably get this question all the time but, any relation to ROY G BIV?
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby vivian maxine on November 17th, 2015, 9:16 am 

Noor, the cat represents poetry. Just watch one sleep. Or stretch. All that smooth grace. The yowling? Well, there is that also.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby TheVat on November 17th, 2015, 12:52 pm 

Noor, you wrote,

"This might be true but, when compared to the language of mathematics, the “rigorous analysis of experience” provided by either philosophy or poetry pales in comparison. To use a metaphor, it’s like comparing driving a car to riding a horse or a donkey...."

Philosophy, as practiced by fellows like Bertrand Russell, was pretty rigorous, e.g. his Principia Mathematica. A goodly amount of western academic philosophy uses logical and mathematical techniques in service of rigorous analysis. I guess it really depends on the philosophic school? A Taoist tract might be more akin to poetry than Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, for example.

-- Paul BIV (Roy G's brother)
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 17th, 2015, 1:23 pm 

POETRY

A poem is both the thought and the presence,
An object born from one’s profoundest sense,
An image of diction, feeling, and rhythm;
It’s both the existence and the essence.

A poem is a truth fleshed in living words,
Which by showing unapprehended proof
Lifts the veil to reveal hidden beauty:
It’s life’s image drawn in eternal truth.

Poetry lives silently in an illustration;
A poem’s beauty is its painting with diction.
These, like music, are mere works of worldly art,
Just shadows of a deeper perfection!

Poetry makes immortal what is best
In life: it frees images of dreams impressed,
Apprehends the vanishing phantasms,
And sends them forth in fine words, fully dressed.

Poetry makes clear what is barely heard,
When it translates soul-language into words,
Whereas, melody plays straight on the heart.
Merged, they create song—heart and soul converge.

A poem provides universal advice;
It’s structured, intense, rhythmical, concise—
A unified body of sensation,
Thoughts, and passions. You’ll want to read it twice!

Poets translate what’s within and above,
Exhibiting truths from depths unheard of.
There is one deep truth that I know is true,
As do you: “The truth of all truths is Love”.

Words echo the soul’s vocabulary,
Being just a shadow of what’s primary;
But, once ideas have been fully grasped,
Mere words are no longer necessary.

Poems are renderings of the soul’s spirit,
The highest power of language and wit.
The reader then translates back to spirit;
If the soul responds then a poem you’ve writ!

Poems necessarily didactical
Give as they must a sense that is practical.
They’re remembered best by verse syntactical,
In which the semantics are tactical.

The written word stimulates the mind intense,
While illustration feeds the sighted sense.
Back and forth they build, each upon the other,
Till the sense can ‘think’ what a thought can ‘sense’.


WORDS VERSUS ILLUSTRATION

The writer’s pen stood forth, being first,
Instructing the artist’s stylus
To illustrate the words of the epic,
Noting that a picture was worth a thousand words.

“Perhaps we don’t even need the words”,
Retorted the artist’s stylus,
“As I am worth so many”.

“I'll now have my freedom,” said the artist’s sword.
“No more will I illustrate the written word;
I’ll draw whatever I please, then the writers
Can describe my sketches with their fancy words.”


“Well,” replied the writer’s pen,
“It’s true that many people now refuse
To read books without lots of pictures in them.”

“How sad, for I guess some words
Are needed to round out the tale.”


“True, for the two sides of the brain
Can then combine in unity.”

“Or I could draw the pictures first
And then you could write the words.”


“It could be like that sometimes, I suppose.”

“OK, shake; it’s a deal either way,
For we need each other.”



THE SANCTUM

Poets love nature, thought, art, and beauty.
Keats enchants the senses with imagery.
Shelley unveils the spirit’s mystery.
Byron lays open the Earth’s majesty.

I ran breathless through meadow and forest,
Fast pursued by the stings of wind and rain;
On and on I wandered, wild without rest,
Searching for a haven from life’s dull pain.

The storm chased me till I could go no more;
I stood helpless, backed up against a door.
I fell through it before death could touch me,
My fall cushioned by the dreams supporting me.

I found a garden half as old as time,
In which poets could write and live their rhyme
While the nightingale created the rose
By moonlight magic from the thoughts sublime.

The scene unfolded before me, such as
Music often approaches and surrounds,
And builds on the vibrance which in one is,
To fill all that lives with beautiful sounds.

I brushed aside the webs of gossamer,
As came to life all I could remember:
My quick thoughts fell, condensing into dew,
As living dreams unveiled all that I knew.

I wandered down memory’s path,
Aglow in the soft beauty that it hath.
I saw Johnny Keats kissing Fanny Brawne,
As he spoke more than words but less than song.

And Byron, endowing form with fancy,
While Wordsworth penned his thoughts to Lucy,
And Shelley, plumbing the depths of mystery.
I read them all; now they’re a part of me.

Deeper still I probed, looking in on it,
And heard Mrs. Browning reading a sonnet.
Poetically I took them all in, even
The shadowy Emily Dickenson.

So there I rested, up against a tree,
Savoring the feeling of their poetry,
Where all the flowers used in Shakespeare’s plays
Grew together in a living bouquet.

And there beneath the rose tree, Old Khayyam
Wrote his verse, looking younger than I am;
He lived the proof of his philosophy,
The writing of which was only secondary.

My quick thoughts rose, mist rising from the dew,
While living dreams unveiled more than I knew.
From poetry’s light a garden grew,
Revealing mysterious wonders new.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 19th, 2015, 12:53 am 

A Star in the Dark

Old Junius, the astronomer prime,
Had been saving up his star gazing time
On the Hubble, on the condition that
They would let him use it in one long shot,
That he needn’t reveal his gamble’s plot,
And that they could use whatever he got.

Time was precious on the great starry stage,
But Junius had stored up seven days
During the last ten years, yet needed more,
Although he was now ninety years and four.

The Director gave in, made it eleven,
Wished him well, and gave all a vacation,
Instructing them to return here in ten.



They all came back, with a long day to spend,
Sitting around, wondering what the end.

One noted, “I heard that the scope began
In the dimmest area of the sky,
And it didn’t even move after that!
There’re so many better places to look.”

Another said, “Hope he’s not gone senile.”

The dawn broke, and old Junius came out,
Clutching a bottle of wine and a cigar,
Although he neither drank nor smoked.

Junius began, “I looked at empty space…”

They began to squirm and shift in their chairs.

“…At a coal black spec no larger than a
Grain of sand held out at an arm’s length,
Which is one thirteen-millionth of the sky.”

They were at a loss for something to say.

Junius began to open the wine bottle.

They all looked to the Director, who smiled,
Noting, “You let the light accumulate.
Any questions for Junius to articulate?”

One ventured, “You found a star in the dark?”

“A star?” Junius said slowly, “A star?”

He took a sip of wine and lit the cigar.

Someone got alarmed, “You can’t smoke in here!”

“I can today,” Junius answered,
“I found 10,000 galaxies afar,
Each one of them having a trillion stars.”

They all applauded then sat back speechless.

The Director stood and pulled out a note,
“I’ve borrowed a few words from Blake the poet:

‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.’”
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby nooor on November 19th, 2015, 12:58 am 

"Philosophy, as practiced by fellows like Bertrand Russell, was pretty rigorous, e.g. his Principia Mathematica." BiV

I think that's why Bertrand Russell is one of my favorite philosophers.
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Re: Blur Between Poetry and Philosphy

Postby DragonFly on November 22nd, 2015, 12:36 am 

Confirmations are everywhere hatched,
Since scientific laws must ever match
And predict the facts of what it mimics,
For example, of the quantum mechanic.

Although QM’s basis seems counterintuitive,
It always works out just perfectly,
For we employ and depend on it, in every way,
On tech products based on it, every day.

Science ever goes on to astronomical heights.

The first supernova since 1572
Appeared in some small galaxies nearby, a few,
Called the Magellanic Clouds, too…

Though its radiation began a while back,
We saw it alight upon us in the ‘now’,
Those immerse quantities of energy
Of a mighty star-stuff maelstrom.

A Chilean astronomical technician, some bloke,
Stepped outside, perhaps to have a smoke,
And being observant spotted it’s yoke!

Ah, he, a mere human standing around
Out under the dark starry sky, aground,
Detected it, upon this lucky time,
For the large telescopes only take in the shine
Of the sky in small sections at a time.

He went in and told of such unexpected,
That a large burst of never-detected
Neutrinos was now to be expected.

The astrophysicists called their colleagues,
C’mon, you all, answer, please,
Those deep beneath the Earth’s surface,
In the United States, Japan, and Europe,
And then said, “Look in your tanks, in revelry;
You have already made a great discovery.”

They were right on the dime, this time;
Each of the observatories had detected the signs
Of a few tens of neutrinos at about the same time.

Consider the magnitude of this achievement,
For they had tested all of what physics meant!

They had predicted the events that go
On in a star’s death throes,
By using theories from nearly every part of physics:
Special and general relativity, quantum mechanics,
Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, nuclear physics,
Atomic physics, and elementary particles.

If any of these theories had in error flailed,
The prediction of the neutrinos would have failed.
Thus, the laws of nature that are known to us
On Earth everyday must have the same thrust
Hundreds of thousands of light years away;
And also the same back in the day
When that star had exploded so,
Hundreds of thousands of years ago.
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