Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Way to Write Poetry

I'm two days behind on my poem-a-day commitment. Well, just one day really. I missed yesterday and haven't yet done today. But I almost didn't do my poem on Friday, which makes me feel that as far as poetry goes lately, I'm hanging on to it by my fingertips.

Then I found the perfect way to write a poem on Friday afternoon. I went to a colloquium talk by a philosopher who was one of our former grad students, now returning in glory. It was a very technical paper in an area in which I do not specialize. In fact, here is the abstract of the talk for your delectation:

ABSTRACT: "How is intelligent action possible? The present paper begins to develop an intellectualist answer to this Kantian ("how-possible") question. The paper is divided into seven sections. §1 introduces the general philosophical theory of intelligence and intelligent action, as introduced by Gilbert Ryle, and then explains how Ryle's regress argument is meant to show that Intelligent action is impossible, if an intellectualist view of the mind is correct. §2 contrasts an anti-intellectualist view (of intelligence and intelligent action and locates knowledge how as a hinge in the familiar debate between intellectualism and anti-intellectualism. The remainder of the paper is an attempt to resolve this debate in favor of intellectualism by developing an account of knowledge how that satisfactorily dissolves the regress."

So I sat there during the talk, filling a chair to show support for our departmental colloquium series. But as I sat there, I didn't really, well, listen to the talk. Instead I wrote a poem. But you'll see that I put philosophy in the poem, so, heck, I figure that it counts. Here it is:

Eternal Recurrence

Herr Friedrich Nietzsche said it is not true
that we shall never pass this way but once.
He said instead that everything that was
shall be again, and then again, and then
again, repeating endlessly through all
of time. He has no proof, of course, but nor
can it be proved that everything must end;
philosophers' disputes rest unresolved.
If he is right, there'll be another day
when you and I will first make love, indeed
a thousand, thousand, thousand other days,
each one the first, forever first, but then
there'll be a thousand, thousand, thousand days
when you will turn and slowly walk away.

No comments:

Post a Comment