Philosophy or Poetry
"A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death."
WB Yeats, 'An Irish Airman Foresees His Death'
Philosophy or poetry?
Let's kick this football around a bit.
Plato preferred philosophy,
As he would, being a philosopher.
He thought poets were mad, he may have a point.
Poets, of course, are liars by profession,
So, when I say I prefer philosophy, you'll know
I have my fingers-crossed and am thinking of Keats
Saying that philosophy will clip an angel's wing.
Poets endeavour to give an air of truth
To airy nothings. And truth is beauty.
Poets, like children, personify ideas
Giving shape to airy nothings
Through extended metaphor and conceit
Poets imagine in more than the three dimensions
Time is the fourth dimension
And poets stop the clocks.
Create a golden age: an Arcadia,
Bewilder’d by poetic speculations.
Philosophers retreat into Plato’s republic of ideal forms.
While poets seek to catch the wind in words
Unafraid of being thought absurd.
Plato thinks each effect has a single, discernible cause
Post a cacophony of inequality
AS this poem may, very likely, be.