The Philosophy of Poetry

Posted: 10/07/2010 in Philosophy
Tags: , , ,

In the country of Somalia, the chief philosophers of their country are the poets. But how can the leading ideas about humanity be put through the lens of art, rather than academia?  There seems to be, at first glance, a disjunction between philosophy and poetry. Philosophy tackles issues of knowledge, existence, and values, whereas poetry can discuss anything from sunsets to loneliness.  Philosophy appears to be a left-brained field of study where poetry concerns right-brained creativity.  How can these coincide?  Well, I recently stumbled upon this quote that added value to this discussion:

“Can it be an accident that the most adequate and probably the most lasting exposition of these three schools of philosophy should have been made by poets? Are poets, at heart, in search of a philosophy? Or is philosophy, in the end, nothing but poetry?” Santayana
So is it possible that all philosophy, when stripped bare, is poetry, and all good poetry digs into philosophy?  The more I dwell on this, the more it makes sense.  I believe that poetry is not all flowers and break-up verbal diarrhea. Poetry, in its truest form, is about existence, being human, discerning reality from fiction.

This is why I write poetry. I don’t write as some personal counselling session.  But I write to express the realities of this world, the pain and joy that comes with being human.

So I implore you… rather than engaging in existance and life through distant intellectualism, experience the depths of feeling and thought.  Write a poem. Be a philosopher.

  1. iheartfilm says:

    Well, Socrates certainly felt that poetry was the sharpest knife at a thinker’s disposal.

  2. jemisz says:

    Yes, and though Plato attempted to differentiate poetry from philosophy, what is recorded of him is certainly in a poetic form.

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