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Thread: Apologia pro vita sua

  1. #1
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Apologia pro vita sua



    Who made me old, and who
    made me self-centered, a rock
    more solid the deeper you cut into it?

    In the end there is nothing to tell
    but truth and nothing
    but lies to tell it with.

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    If the truth may be revealed in a lie, I wonder how many lies are concealed behind great truths. Nurture over nature is an eternal question. What makes us who we are?
    The modern sages, the priests of Psyche, would claim nurture, whilst those of religious bent would claim nature. Is it that both are true, or neither? One man's truth is another man's falshood, leaving us with your poem, I suppose.

    Best, H

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    Mm... this requires further thought. Cryptic, enigmatic.

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    My mind's in rags breathtest's Avatar
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    i suppose that lies can quite often tell us more about the truth than the truth can. i like this poem, Prince. i love the futility of the first question, 'who made me old?' Time would be my first answer, but is time just something we've invented? either way getting old is going to happen no matter what questions we ask. thanks for posting this.
    'For sale: baby shoes, never worn'. Hemingway

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    My mind's in rags breathtest's Avatar
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    I have just googled the title of the poem and came up with this quote from Charles Kingsley: 'Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so."

    i think this is what the poem is getting at. i hope i'm right. your poetry is very clever Prince. One might even call it cunning.
    'For sale: baby shoes, never worn'. Hemingway

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    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Many thanks Hillwaker. Hawkman, Breathtest and Breathtest:

    Quote Originally Posted by breathtest View Post
    I have just googled the title of the poem and came up with this quote from Charles Kingsley: 'Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so."

    i think this is what the poem is getting at. i hope i'm right. your poetry is very clever Prince. One might even call it cunning.
    Frankly I don't know offhand whether my poem is getting at what Kingsley wrote in interpretation of Cardinal Newman.

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    My mind's in rags breathtest's Avatar
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    well i think the poem is, even if you didn't know it
    'For sale: baby shoes, never worn'. Hemingway

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    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    I like how a rock is more solid the deeper you cut into it as opposed to we're all soft on the inside.
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

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    dafydd dafydd manton's Avatar
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    Still not sure quite what to make of this. Deep and meaningful, or cynical? Looking for something, or rejecting it?
    Dafydd Manton, A Legend In His Own Lunchtime!! www.dafydd-manton.co.uk

    My Work Has Been Spread Over Many Fields!

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    Still, on a chalk plateau Bar22do's Avatar
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    Only the second "who" reads in place, as for the first, it might be "what" as well...
    S1 breathes resistance and N's self-justification. And I wonder, who's motivated enough to strain and cut deeper into more and more solid...
    S2 is promising (though the lack of S3's expected truth/avowal disappoints) and I liked its

    "and nothing but lies to tell it with"

    which emphasizes the importance of sticking to the truth at least in the end (any surplus being but a lie).
    The question remains, as remarked previously, what the truth really is.

    Cleverly put, as often more an aphorism than a verse, but certainly thought provoking. Thanks a lot.


  11. #11
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Many thanks brreathtest, Delta and Dafy.

    As for
    Quote Originally Posted by Bar22do View Post
    Only the second "who" reads in place, as for the first, it might be "what" as well...


    I disagree with you here because the narrator is speaking out of resentment and in such a mood, one would prefer a "who" to address one to rather than to a process, especially a process that is applied to everyone, whereas he feels his age to be a personal affront

    S1 breathes resistance and N's self-justification. And I wonder, who's motivated enough to strain and cut deeper into more and more solid...
    Implicitly he has been loved, or someone has wished to understand him as the pathway to love or empathy, and we all, I think, have felt it as a personal challenge to get beyond the armour of a seemingly well-armoured person.

    S2 is promising (though the lack of S3's expected truth/avowal disappoints) and I liked its

    "and nothing but lies to tell it with"

    which emphasizes the importance of sticking to the truth at least in the end (any surplus being but a lie).
    The question remains, as remarked previously, what the truth really is.

    Cleverly put, as often more an aphorism than a verse, but certainly thought provoking. Thanks a lot.
    I'm fond of the statement by Abraham Maslow: “We cannot be more honest with others than we are with ourselves,” but there is for me a fallacy in this doctrine, i.e. the question of how we know when we are being perfectly honest with ourselves, since we are both the judge and the object of the inquiry. What I would call the tragic cynicism of my final lines is incorporated in the German word lebensluege which, loosely translated, means either the lie we live by or the lie that is necessary for our survival.
    Last edited by PrinceMyshkin; 09-21-2010 at 01:27 PM.

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Prince

    O quid solutes est beatius curis?

    Cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino

    Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum

    Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto.

    Hoc est, quod unum est pro laboribus tantis.

  13. #13
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MANICHAEAN View Post
    Prince

    O quid solutes est beatius curis?

    Cum mens onus reponit, ac peregrino

    Labore fessi venimus larem ad nostrum

    Desideratoque acquiescimus lecto.

    Hoc est, quod unum est pro laboribus tantis.
    Thank God for Google! But, man! That is a bleak response to what I wrote...

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    dafydd dafydd manton's Avatar
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    Strange thing, Prince, this poem always makes me think of a particular song, "Behind Blue Eyes", by The Who. See what you think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfuWXRZe9yA
    Dafydd Manton, A Legend In His Own Lunchtime!! www.dafydd-manton.co.uk

    My Work Has Been Spread Over Many Fields!

  15. #15
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dafydd manton View Post
    Strange thing, Prince, this poem always makes me think of a particular song, "Behind Blue Eyes", by The Who. See what you think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfuWXRZe9yA
    I've clicked on the youtube, thanks, I can see why you associate it with my poem.

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