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Passions in Poetry

Pity.

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Kaoru
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0 posted 06-19-2004 03:06 AM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru


Upon my reading, I came to a question that I thought would be good.

Do you believe that pity is a virtue?
hush
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1 posted 06-19-2004 10:22 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

No. I think empathy is, but pity, to me, is what you feel for someone who you feel bad for, but don't really care about.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but it's not really a good thing either. I think that pity takes away the human dimension that empathy has, and to me, it implies that the person will never change.
muted
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2 posted 06-19-2004 10:53 AM       View Profile for muted   Email muted   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for muted

a modest person would not feel pity for another person. Pity would automatically put you on a "higer level" than the person being pitied.
Modesty = empathy/sympathy= virtue

I dont consider pity a virtue, a person who feels "better than" someone else is not being virtuous...just selfish.

Stephanos
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3 posted 06-19-2004 02:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"Pity" probably lacks the positive connotations of "compassion", because compassion seems to add the dimension of love for the one who is pitied.  Hush is right, I can feel pity in a cold and detached way, but compassion requires more of my heart (specifically, love).  Maybe pity is a stepping stone, to get us to the higher virtue of compassion?


Stephen
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4 posted 06-19-2004 03:11 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I've been searching the dictionaries, and can't find anything negative, but pity always did seem to connotate a negative reaction in myself.

But then, I have such problems with that I once buried my dog with a hand shovel rather than borrow a proper spade from a neighbor.

Hmm.

I guess I oughtta think about that, huh?



shaking my head here...

You can tell me that "you understand" and you can even turn my stomach with the phrase "I feel your pain"--but somehow?

"I pity you" indicates a sneer to me.

As if I'm already done for or something.

and we all know, I'm like the thing in a horror movie. I just keep coming back.

Stay tuned for the sequel--

"Serenity Returns"

?
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5 posted 06-21-2004 10:14 AM       View Profile for wings of the moon   Email wings of the moon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wings of the moon

Wilfred Owen's poetry was all about "the pity" of war. I do not think he was an un-virtuous person by any standards.

Unless you adopt the stance that he is pitying war itself. It seems absurd to call him un-virtuous in this case for sneering at this vague-ish concept, for what is war? the people fighting it, following orders? the generals that die in bed? the government? or just human race's natural flaws?
hush
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6 posted 06-22-2004 09:23 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'Maybe pity is a stepping stone, to get us to the higher virtue of compassion?'

I dunno, Stephen... I almost think we are naturally inclined to compassion first, and then fall back on pity when either our efforts to help go unheeded, or our ability to love the person wears out.
LeeJ
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7 posted 06-22-2004 10:56 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Synonyms: pity, compassion, commiseration, sympathy, condolence, empathy
These nouns signify kindly concern aroused by the misfortune, affliction, or suffering of another. Pity often implies a feeling of sorrow that inclines one to help or to show mercy: felt pity for the outcast. Compassion denotes deep awareness of the suffering of another and the wish to relieve it: “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism” (Hubert H. Humphrey). Commiseration signifies the expression of pity or sorrow: expressed their commiseration over the failure of the experiment.

I believe that it depends on our culture and conditioning on the way of words...their meaning...some fear pity as an emotion for weakness and failure, therefore they are embarrassed by the word....but the word is in itself, an entity of compassion and care for others.  Yes?  

Just my thoughts.  Thanks for the opportunity to share.
Stephanos
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8 posted 06-22-2004 11:39 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I dunno, Stephen... I almost think we are naturally inclined to compassion first, and then fall back on pity when either our efforts to help go unheeded, or our ability to love the person wears out.



Yeah, I see you're point.  I guess I wasn't really referring to chronology though.  I was just stating that compassion (or love) is more sublime than just "feeling sorry" for someone (ie, pity).  It is the more excellent virtue, the more ideal ... whether we happen to be falling from it, or striving towards it.  


Stephen.
Stephanos
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9 posted 06-26-2004 05:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Frodo

There's something down there.  

Gandalf

It's Gollum.  
He's been following us for three days.  

Frodo

He escaped from the dungeons of Barad-dur!  

Gandalf

Escaped,  
or was set loose.  
Gollum hates and  loves the ring,  
as he hates and loves himself.  
He will never be free of his need for it.  

Frodo

Pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf

Pity?  
It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand.  
Many who live deserve death, and some who die deserve life.  
Can you give it to them?  
Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.  
Even the very wise cannot see all ends,  
but my heart tells me that Gollum still has a part to  play,  
for good or ill.  
Before this is over, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

  

serenity blaze
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10 posted 06-26-2004 06:53 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Excellent.



 
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