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Thread: Aristotle in his Poetics emphasizes subject matter in poetry

  1. #1
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    Aristotle in his Poetics emphasizes subject matter in poetry

    As I reflect on these first associations in the Baha’i community I can’t help but also reflect on Aristotle's concept of mimesis "The instinct for imitation,” writes Aristotle, “is inherent in human beings from our earliest days; we differ from other animals in that we are the most imitative of creatures and learn our earliest lessons by imitation.” My association with the Baha’i community began when I was nine or ten and these several individuals whose homes I entered and who entered the home of my family had qualities worthy of emulation. We all have a sense of a public self, and we keep refashioning ourselves according to the information we process. In one form or another, we are performers. In 1953/4 I entered a world of performers. They were not paid for honing their craft as Shakespeare was in plays like Hamlet. But they were all performers who were keenly aware of their audience, as we all are.
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    Socrates once complained, in his Apology, of the inability of poets to talk analytically about their work. According to the significance of the Greek root of the word ‘poetry’ it covers all forms of art or human productivity. In the tradition of the great books, novelists like Cervantes, Fielding or Melville called themselves poets. Poetry with these writers was regarded as narrative, the invention of good stories. A poet was a teller of tales. Aristotle in his Poetics emphasizes subject matter in poetry not language; plot was the most important thing made by the poet in narrative poetry, not the verses, not the rhyme or metre, according to Aristotle. So, the historian and the poet differed not. “Epics,” wrote Cervantes, “may be as well written in prose as in verse.” So it is in this epic, this series of thousands of poems written in the fourth epoch of the Formative Age, that I continue a form of poetry, a poetic tradition, going back to the Greeks. -Ron Price with thanks to The Great ideas: A Synopticon of Great Books of the Western World, Vol. 2, William Benton, Toronto, 1952, p.400.
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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    Literary Superstar Pryderi Agni's Avatar
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    Well, yeah, technically speaking you're right. That's why blank verse is regarded as a truer form of expression than rhyming verse; it sacrifices the pretty language and goes to the heart of the matter with penetrating acuity, as long as it keeps true to its meter.

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    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    Poetry and science

    POETRY AND SCIENCE

    The language of both science and poetry is a language under stress. Words are being made by their respective authors to describe things that often seem indescribable in words: equations, chemical and physical structures in the case of science, and an inner life of thoughts and emotions, among other things in the case of poetry. Words don’t and cannot mean all that they stand for. Yet words are arguably the best means people have to describe experience. By being a natural language under tension, the language of science is inherently poetic. There is metaphor aplenty in science. Emotions emerge shaped as states of matter and, more interestingly, matter acts out what goes on in the soul. This is why one can say that science is poetic. One thing is certainly not true: that scientists have some greater insight into the workings of nature than poets, or vice versa. Some people feel that, deep down, scientists have some inner knowledge that is barred to others. The expertise of a scientist is an expertise acquired by learning and, unless others acquire the required learning, that particular piece of the universe of knowledge is, indeed, barred to those others.

    Poetry soars in the world of science.1 It soars all around the tangible, in deep dark, through a world the scientist reveals and makes his own. Poetry in the hands of a lover of life and words, a person with great knowledge and wisdom, can soar in the worlds of intellect and understanding the two most luminous lights in the world of creation.2 -Ron Price with thanks to 1Roald Hoffman, “Science, Language and Poetry,” The Pantaneto Forum, Issue 6, April 2002; and 2Abdul-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, Wilmette, 1970, p.1.

    What can I say of today?
    Slept late and also had a
    sleep after lunch: hardly
    productive one could say.
    But how can one measure
    the success of a single day?
    Got a handle on Homer more
    than I’ve ever had: The Iliad
    and The Odyssey as well as
    Simone Weil.1 She was a delight,
    especially her essay on The Iliad
    and its closing words about the idea
    of rediscovering: “the epic genius…
    no refuge from fate…learning not to
    hate the enemy….…how soon will this
    happen?” she asks.2 It has happened; it
    has already happened, Simone: it was born
    in the Siyah-Chal in Tehran and its light is
    spreading around the world to every corner.

    1 Simone Weil(1909-1943) French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist.
    2 Simone Weil, “The Iliad or the Poem of Force,” Chicago Review, 18.2, 1965.
    Ron Price
    12 September 2010
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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