Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Waiting to be Astonished (and taking it to heart)

Laura (and we're happy to have her back) also makes an interesting contribution, offering two methods or strategies to the practicing poet.

(a) Wait to be astonished.
(b) Take the Tractatus Pathetico-Poeticus to heart.

In regard to (a), let me say that the Pathetico-Poeticus itself never ceases to astonish me. Note the sudden appearance of the différance at 3.323 right across from Wittgenstein's copula, and the correlative suggestion that the Pathetico-Poeticus itself is the Logico-Philosophicus' "dangerous supplement". It's all there. Fully automated. Just like Google.

In regard to (b), I tremble at the experimental force of this exercise. But it may be worth noting Wittgenstein's hope that his thoughts might "shed some light into one mind or another" alongside Pound's definition of poetry as "an art to make light the heart of man". Neither are especially profound suggestions, but they do suggest that logic is to the mind what passion is to the heart, that we should keep philosophy in mind while taking poetry to heart, and, just, basically, you know, wait to be astonished.

Thanks Laura.

1 comment:

Laura Carter said...

That's the best argument for trying to understand "logic" that I've heard. I will try to do better in that from now on; I tend to, unfortunately, [or I tend, unfortunately, to] somewhat? follow the idea of mind OR heart.... Perhaps this exercise is a way of enveloping them, so to speak. Thanks much, Thomas.