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Passions in Poetry

Death

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Seoulair
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25 posted 04-20-2008 06:32 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

quote:
For poets who do not want to be bound by rules or structure, that's why we have free verse. Combining the two in a haphazard way grates on me.....but that's just me.


I almost posted a comment on Sir Balladeer two hours ago about  His( see the capital H)issue with free verse crossed over to E.D.

Now he said it himself.

Will you please loudly criticize those live ones and leave the dead ones alone. have you realized that she had no chance to rewrite and revise them? Be nice!
Balladeer
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26 posted 04-20-2008 06:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL! As I said, sir, she has nothing to fear from me. She is an accomplished poet who has been read and loved by millions. I am but a pigeon perched on the statue of her reputation. I will not even criticize her methods, outside of saying they are simply not my cup of tea.
Seoulair
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27 posted 04-20-2008 07:29 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

quote:
Death comes. We have no power over death.

Stephen has given you the answer but you don't believe it. So, you believe that human has no power over death. Right?

quote:
a pigeon perched on the statue of her reputation.

My, you are too soft spirited on yourself. You simply wanted to dig her out and to teach her Iambic pentameter
Balladeer
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28 posted 04-20-2008 07:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Stephan has given no answer. He simply stated his views.

I have discussed nothing concerning the point or meaning of the poem. I simply spoke of the construction of it.
oceanvu2
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29 posted 04-20-2008 07:43 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Bah, humbug.  Or hubris. We don't have power over doodly-squat.  And the things we do have power over are doodly squat.

When you're hot, you're hot.  When you're not, you're dead.  

Ain't much more than that to it, except for the fairy tales.

Ducking, Jimbeaux
Essorant
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30 posted 04-20-2008 08:17 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If one makes healthier choices and therefore lives longer I think that is living power over life and death.  It is not enough power to live forever, but it is often enough to live longer
Seoulair
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31 posted 04-20-2008 09:02 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

Agree with Sir Essorant
Vaccine, antibiotics, blood transfusion, organ-transplant, and all the modern medical equipment do prevent certain factor caused death. The POWER
Bob K
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32 posted 04-20-2008 11:30 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



No Balladeer, I wasn't talking about her reputation compared to yours.  When E.D. died, her reputation was considerably smaller than yours and she had no reason to thing it would be revised upward.  She knew the stuff that people were writing at the time and wrote back and forth with the editor of The Atlantic a few times in that more congenial era.  If memory serves.  She knew that she had not a hope in gaining any recognition for what she was doing and the Atlantic confirmed it.  They agreed with you.  Instead they printed Lydia Sigourney, the sweet bard of Michigan, who wrote at length in polished and regular verses about Indian Maidens.  As far as E.D. was concerned, she was nothing, and she was writing for herself.  She piled up about 1200 of these little poems in little hand sewn booklets which she crammed into drawers in her desk.

     This is the way she wrote because she thought it was right.  This is the way she saw the world.  When the chips were down, she went for what she thought were the most essential parts of the poem.  She might have hoped for more readers; might have prayed for them, but she never saw them.  It isn't you she is  telling off, Balladeer, it is pretty much life as a whole.  What's in those poems is the life she's chosen in as spare and as compact a form as she can make it.  She's left out everything she can that she things doesn't matter.  And that includes both of us.  She doesn't need us; she never did.  It's not because of fame, it's because she about the most self contained person you will ever meet.

     To tell the truth, I think it's a wonder that Death found an opening to get in, she was that private.  
Stephanos
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33 posted 04-21-2008 03:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad thought I was speaking of "The Almighty" as distinct from humanity, but was actually referring to an incarnational view.  If Jesus Christ is both human and divine (as orthodoxy says) then his triumph over death is something we may hope to participate in.  But like Jim implied, if some "fairy tale" isn't real, then it is mors vincit omnia, with no recourse.  The only thing that I perhaps disagree with Brad about here, is when he says that the merely human prospect of death does not exclude hope.  Hope in what?


I do love this poem and its imagery, especially the last line.


Stephen  
Seoulair
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34 posted 04-21-2008 06:06 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

quote:
4. To marry Death is not to die, to die is to be Death's food.

This is equal to say that
To sit in a flying  airplane is not flying, to fly is to be the airplane's food.
? contradict right?
Brad
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35 posted 04-21-2008 07:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:


You know Death by his leisure -- take
The time we saw the vulture make
His slow, hot-air-baloon descent
To a possum smashed beside the pavement.
We stopped the car to watch . . . .




--A.E. Stallings, Archaic Smile, 1999

I'm tempted to leave that as my response, but I guess I can add a few things.

You can also get out of an airplane. I don't see the analogy.

The food metaphor was moving in the same direction as I think Ess was going. Death is dependent on life. No life, no death. (Is that something any sane person would want?)

I, perhaps, have a blind spot because I do not see how life is the inevitable result of death. Life is dependent on death, most life anyway. That is clear, but I don't see how one eliminates death unless one eliminates life.

quote:
Hope in what?


I see no reason that hope must be rational.  

And to be honest, it doesn't seem to be anyway.

As far as living healthy and using new medical procedures, I know from firsthand experience (and I'm not the only one) that these, while wonderful and important, don't diminish in any real sense the scope of death. Only by implicitly narrowing the scope of death (small pox victims, lung cancer victims) does that imply  any real power over the guy with the scythe.

Look at the possum.
Seoulair
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36 posted 04-21-2008 08:24 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

Sir Brad, You keep jumping from concrete death /life to abstract death/life.  Then I shall say that  there is not death..only transformation. Do you agree? No you would not. Because you asked us to look at the deadly dead possum.

But when you talked about ED, "she still takes" Does dead people talk?

life is a process and death is a point. A point can be unlimited divided so it goes towards where you want to point at.

So, what is your exact definition of death?
Essorant
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37 posted 04-21-2008 09:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Brad
quote:

That is clear, but I don't see how one eliminates death unless one eliminates life.


That is because life and death, (Stephanos is going to be annoyed by this) are the same thing!   But it sounds nonsensical unless you listen more carefully.   If you wish to give the same thing only one name let us call it "fire" for now, which word I think is a worthy metaphor.  Life and death are this same thing: the fire.  But life is the fire when it is very bright, so bright that it is called "life".  And death is the fire when it is very unbright, so unbright that it is called "death" instead.  Both of them are the same fire, just one referring to the fire when it is bright and the other referring to the fire when it is unbright.  Therefore if you take away the fire when it is called "death" then you no longer have it anymore to be called "life" either.  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (04-21-2008 11:29 PM).]

Brad
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38 posted 04-21-2008 10:21 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Seoulair:
Fair enough. But aren't you doing the same thing?

Death with a capital D is a personification of something that happens. I simply said that we have no power over it/him/her. As long as we keep that personification, to help death along is not a form of power, it is a form of subservience.

Doesn't that make sense?

If you want to get specific, my point is that  avoiding Death implies a foreknowledge of when you die. If you know that is going to happen, it can't be changed: you are powerless. If you can change it, then that foreknowledge is wrong, and you didn't 'know' you were going to die.

Doesn't that make sense?

I'm not trying to play games, I'm not trying to be obscure (I originally had obtuse here. I'm not trying to that either. ). I am trying to come to terms with the fact that death is the point of no return.

And that maybe the phrase, "and Death, thou shalt die" is perhaps one of those things that we shouldn't be wishing for.

Maybe whatever difficulty I am presenting here is the result of me finding it difficult to come to terms with that.

[This message has been edited by Brad (04-22-2008 12:21 AM).]

Seoulair
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39 posted 04-21-2008 10:42 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

Dear Brad, I shall say that you are "right" again and wait I'll come back to beat you down.

[This message has been edited by Seoulair (04-22-2008 12:59 AM).]

Seoulair
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40 posted 04-22-2008 12:58 AM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

quote:
Death with a capital D is a personification of something that happens.

There goes abstraction again.
Let Death  merrily wed Miss.Hell
and in Sunny palace they'll forever dwell.
We, by the touch of a soft dove,
shall live as immortal.

quote:
I simply said that we have no power over it/him/her. As long as we keep that personification, to help death along is not a form of power, it is a form of subservience.


we can not lie to ourselves. There is thing called death but we shall not scare of it so it sure will loss power on us.


quote:
If you want to get specific, my point is that  avoiding Death implies a foreknowledge of when you die. If you know that is going to happen, it can't be changed: you are powerless. If you can change it, then that foreknowledge is wrong, and you didn't 'know' you were going to die.


To drive or not to drive because the car is going to rot anyway?    

Logically, if I know death is there and it is not changeable. ..right.
If I know death is there and want to change it, then I don't know if I'm goign to die or not..so illogical.

1 year old death/100 years old death  
Zomming as same in your eyes

I year old death and human history
Zooming as none in universe eyes.

Then, life was not there so why death?
If you do not acknowledge life how you talk about death?

It is true that every human being physically disappeared. Big deal? Religion has religious answer and physics has different answer and and chemistry. If Miss.Universe had eyes, we merely in the blinking time so she would not see human as exiting beings. How pathetic we are!!....No. we are not. Being exiting is significant enough. Life is measured by stories but no time. why bother by death if Mr.Death him self were happy. Let him happy because all those life long waiting for his love...we shall give him mercy, right?

Ah, your poet, I shall tie my tongue.


quote:
I'm not trying to play games, I'm not trying to be obtuse. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that death is the point of no return.


no, you are not playing games. I try to understand your thought (the logical)
And we are trying to say physical death is not the final end of life.

quote:
And that maybe the phrase, "and Death, thou shalt die" is perhaps one of those things that we shouldn't be wishing for.

why? this is the whole base of Creation and Salvation in Christian faith.

And Buddha, even animal need to be blessed to become  human being or great poets for next cycle. I can understand what you said. you really want to cut other's hope to become a better one?

quote:
Maybe whatever difficulty I am presenting here is the result of me finding it difficult to come to terms with that.

It is very difficult. If I can not answer it , I'll joke at it.    
Christopher
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41 posted 04-22-2008 02:26 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

In the context of your explanation, Brad, we can add a multitude of other forces/elements that we have no control over (or, as you put it, no control other than to serve the personification of these things).

Yet the focus is on death because of the mystery surrounding "what happens next." We don't personify the air we breathe or the gravity that holds us down. We understand these things (or at least think we do) and do not "care" about them, because we know our place within the framework that contains them. We personify and mythologize Death because we want to know what happens after we die.

We aren't serving Death in any case - it is an event, not the result of some plot - it isn't even necessary for life to flourish. It just is. There's no mystery to death, no black hooded villian (or lover) on the other side of the veil; there is just a breakdown of tissue and self. As someone else mentioned, it is a transformation.

And, if we weren't such vain creatures that required our "selves" to live on, we would accept our new part in the world after death as nothing more than distressed electrical impulses and molecules floating around to form with other molecules.

But I'm in that kind of mood lately. I do like your poetic interpretation better.  
Balladeer
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42 posted 04-22-2008 08:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I like your mood, Christopher
Stephanos
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43 posted 04-22-2008 11:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad:
quote:
I see no reason that hope must be rational.  

And to be honest, it doesn't seem to be anyway.

Therefore its more reasonable to have hope than not?  

I think there's a difference between saying that hope is not limited by rational categories, and that it is irrational.  Trusting an unmistakable "hunch", or trusting someone's character or word when others have raised doubt, doesn't always embody irrationality.  Sometimes it is the sanest approach, despite appearances.  

But then there is plain old delusion, which wouldn't fit this redeeming description at all.  I think we should ask whether our world-view is one that renders hope really delusional, or something more preferable like audacious or undaunted.

Believe me, I have nothing against hope, and would like only to encourage it.  For while the Christian faith has been slurred as an "irrational hope" often enough, its historical and experiential moorings are more substantial than merely Platonic or purely mythical systems which promise hope beyond death.  So while it may require some obstinacy or doubt of doubters, it is not exactly a shot in the dark either.


Essorant:
quote:
But life is the fire when it is very bright, so bright that it is called "life".  And death is the fire when it is very unbright, so unbright that it is called "death" instead.  Both of them are the same fire, just one referring to the fire when it is bright and the other referring to the fire when it is unbright.


When the fire goes out in the dead of winter, shall you be comforted by "unbright fire"?  Or shall you rather admit that the fire has ceased?

Darkness is the absence of light.  Cold is the absence of heat, that's why there is such a thing as "absolute zero".  How might this apply to life and death?  In the same way, might not death be the absence of life, and not merely a variation of it?


Christopher:
quote:
it (death) is an event, not the result of some plot


How do you know?  I think you would be more accurate to say that if there is a plot you are now unaware of it.  Anyway, you guys are the ones saying "The End" right?  


quote:
it isn't even necessary for life to flourish. It just is


Seeing that you've never experienced life without the counterpart of death, how do you know that it isn't necessary for life to flourish?  

quote:
There's no mystery to death, no black hooded villian (or lover) on the other side of the veil


If you've never seen beyond the veil, and don't believe any of the stories about those who supposedly did, how do you know there is nothing on the other side?  Your inexperience of death (and beyond) would seem to fit the definition of 'mystery' to a tee.


quote:
And, if we weren't such vain creatures that required our "selves" to live on, we would accept our new part in the world after death as nothing...


But aside from vanity, denying one's own destiny after death could just as well be interpreted as false humility.  I for one have known and seen individuals who believed very much in a life beyond death, who could not convincingly be called 'vain'.  Also, with death as final leveler with no recourse, would it matter much whether one was humble or vain?

I've heard many people question the idea of whether "consciousness" is any different than matter, in the sense that it cannot be annihilated.  C.S. Lewis mentions this in "The Problem of Pain":

"People often talk as if the 'annihilation' of a soul were instrinsically possible.  In all our experience, however, the destruction of one thing means the emergence of something else.  Burn a log, and you have gases, heat and ash.  To have been a log means now being those three things.  If souls can be destroyed, must there not be a state of having been a human soul?  And is not that, perhaps, the state which is equally well described as torment, destruction, and privation?"  

And while he mentions this as it relates to perdition, I only mention it to suggest that if some believe that human consciousness simply ceases to exist at death, it would be quite unique in that regard.  Everything else changes, while only the most intimate and amazing thing we know of, self and other selves, would simply cease to be.  I know this would fall outside the realms of empiricism, but doesn't that seem somehow doubtful?


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (04-23-2008 10:54 AM).]

Bob K
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44 posted 04-23-2008 05:17 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Hope is not rational in any case, I believe, Stephanos.

     In the story of Pandora, in at least one version of it, when Pandora opened the box all the evils of the world escaped except for one.  Pandora closed to box in time to keep that one, the greatest evil, inside.  That evil was hope.

     This was not exactly the version I grew up with, and yet it was.  Somehow all these nightmares had escaped from the box and yet hope had remained inside in the version I remembered, and wasn't Pandora clever for having managed to retain it?

     I was selling the subtlety of the Greeks short.  In looking at some Buddhist philosophy, it seems that one is as tightly bound to suffering by one's positive attachments as by one's negative attachments.  It's simpler to let go of fear and pain and greed than it is to let go of hope or luxury or pleasures.  And hope can be the entrance into one of the buddhist hell realms of suffering, experienced, not only in the future, but also, as buddhist hell realms tend to be, in the here and now.  In this life.
Stephanos
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45 posted 04-23-2008 10:47 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob,

If hope is irrational, then why do those who have the most of it tend to get along best?  I can accept that hope doesn't seem rational at times, but I cannot accept that it is therefore irrational.  Perhaps the Greek Pandora and the Buddhist Philosophy you mentioned were speaking of something like delusion calling it 'hope'?  

Anyway, what you wrote reminded me of "The Shawshank Redemption" (one of my favorite movies) where the prisoner Andy is warned by his sidekick Red against the dangers of hoping.  And though the rationality of hope is challenged throughout the story, it finally prevails.  Anyway I think there's a reason that such stories resonate with us as they do.  


Stephen  
Bob K
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46 posted 04-23-2008 01:06 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Stephanos,

     I don't know that those who have the most hope get along best.  This seems one of the unprovable assertions people generalize about.  Also you I think you assume that what folks hope for is as compassionate and good-hearted as what you hope for.  To have hope says nothing about what the hope is for.  I think because you are a good man you tend to think hope is for good things.  Sometimes it is.

     As you know, hope for some things is a fairly certain sure request for unhappiness.  Gamblers and alcoholics live in a world of hope.  One may have compassion for them and still see that the hope is part of the illness they suffer from.  It seduces them into despair and self loathing.  I'm afraid I have to go with the greeks on this one.

     Faith may be a different story, I'm not sure.  I think faith requires a practice to help bring it to fruition.   Prayer or meditation in which you offer something of yourself.  Hope—who knows?

My best, Bob
Seoulair
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47 posted 04-23-2008 01:47 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

It is very interesting to think if hope is rational or not.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."--Bible (NIV)

If thus related, hope should be internal built and should be above reasoning.


Stephanos
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48 posted 04-23-2008 02:05 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob
quote:
Also you I think you assume that what folks hope for is as compassionate and good-hearted as what you hope for.  To have hope says nothing about what the hope is for.  I think because you are a good man you tend to think hope is for good things.  Sometimes it is.

Bob, you're right.  The object of hope, or the nature of hope is just as important.  I am certainly not making a case for hope in some general sense.  In the context of this thread, I was speaking mainly of the hope of life beyond the crematorium, the conviction that we were meant for more than oblivion.  This is basically a "good" kind of hope, and one that humanity hasn't been able to shake.  It is not unconditionally good however, being more of a sign than anything.

And so you've brought up a good point: that even the most wicked person may "hope" for mere continuance.  The desire to go on living can in fact represent nothing more than narcism.  In a dim way, even an insect might desire to go on living.  But I am speaking of a hope which, though not unacquainted with self-interest, is quite different than that.

Have you ever seen "Shawshank"?

Stephen
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49 posted 04-23-2008 02:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos,

quote:
When the fire goes out in the dead of winter, shall you be comforted by "unbright fire"?  Or shall you rather admit that the fire has ceased?

Darkness is the absence of light.  Cold is the absence of heat, that's why there is such a thing as "absolute zero".  How might this apply to life and death?  In the same way, might not death be the absence of life, and not merely a variation of it?


No, for sure I won't be comforted.  But only because one and the same thing is changed, being chiefly temperature, of which  "hot" and "cold", "bright" and "unbright" "light" and "darkness" are degrees and visions,  manners and expressions.  The reason one manner or degree of temperature seems to "cease" is only because it becomes a different degree.   Nothing is truly "ceased", but is just continued in a different degree.

 
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