Author Topic: poetry v. philosophy  (Read 1003 times)

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Offline illiterati

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poetry v. philosophy
« on: June 08, 2012, 11:55 PM »
*Philosophy - in the broadest sense of thinking rigorously / systematically


...all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

                  --Billy Collins


What's the relationship between thinking critically and writing poetry? I can't think of a single philosopher who was a great poet, or of a poet who was a great philosopher. But this is an old debate -- Plato kicked the poets out of the ideal city.

Myself, I go between - I have a job that requires me to think critically and articulate that in writing. My first love is poetry, but I find I can't really embrace both at the same time: I was on a creative roll for awhile, not really pushing forward on the critical work... now I've gotten into the critical work, and I couldn't write a poem to save my soul.

So... any thoughts? does poetry work against critical thinking? help it along? When Billy Collins (no, I don't like Billy Collins, but whatever) talks about "tortur[ing] a confession out of" the poem "to find out what it really means," do we go along with this antagonism? Does critical thinking takes a violent, demystifying stance towards poetry?

What does poetry do that thought can't? Thought that poetry can't?

Does the capacity / practice of rigorous and systematic thinking squash out the poetic brain? If so, how or why?

In what ways is poetry itself a mode of thought, and how does that mode differ from the other?


just rambling here. if you can latch on to any of those, or branch off in some other direction, cool.