Monday, May 28, 2007

Thinking and Singing

I just picked up a collection of essays by a group of Canadian poets and philosophers called: THINKING AND SINGING: Poetry and the Practice of Philosophy.

Ultimately, what's the difference between serious thinking and poetical cogitation?

(Miles Davis comes to mind. His music is the embodiment of lucid lyricism.)

The best essay in this collection is by Robert Bringhurst, "The Philosophy of Poetry and the Trashing of Doctor Empedokles."

He cites this quotation from Giordano Bruno: "True philosophy is also music, poetry and painting; true painting, too, is music and philosophy; true poetry or music is a form of holy wisdom; so is painting."

So it would seem.

There is also an essay included entitled: "Philosophical Apokatastasis: On Writing and Return." Learn a new word and suddenly it's everywhere you look!

In this case, however, the essayist seems to be using the term as a fancy substitute for Plato's theory of epistemology--knowledge as recovered memories.
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Blogger john hanson said...

when we finally recover from the presupposition that marked all philosophy except that in the aristotelean/aquinas tradition
from the days of hume and kant and thus
we will recognize that all of human experience has a place in the world of cognitive expression

it seems to me that philosophers have taken on the role of serious cerebral contortionists or high handed logician for far too long

the ultimate question then becomes:
can wisdom be sought
or perhaps even found
in the experience of music
in poetry
i think poets are philosophers who sing

frost said
"a poem begins in surprise and ends in wisdom"

such that life from the look of wonder in the face of a child
to the look of knowing and perhaps agreeable skepticicm in the eyes of an elder..the whole adventure
is the milieux of philosophy

11:03 AM  
Blogger john hanson said...

i was thinking
or was i singing

i am aware of a
what should i call it
a phenomenon
a mental characteristic

when i am practicing
on the guitar and singing
and listening to myself
i am also aware at times
of fully developed thoughts
a sort of snstictive aareness of possibilities
associated with music perhaps
but not always
i may be thinking of something else

i take it to be a sort of learning
the sounds of the strings
the pitch of my voice
can elicit
thinking that may have littel to do
with the action of
or humming
but takes place simultaneously

i also have this sense that my mind is
busy in the process of organization
something that may not
always be expressed rationally
but it is getting in tune
with something
with what

miles could think through his horn
but i would consider someone like
chet baker to be more
if not more cerebral

it occurs to me that
keith jarrett attained to something
like instantaneous
translation of thought to music

the raga is a form which
considers no distinction between
the music and the
workings of the soul of the

i'd like to read this book
from canada

thanks again for the great posts

7:57 PM  

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