Finding Connections. Poetic Knowledge Chapter III

After reading chapter III I understood the latest posts on chapter II and comments better. The intuition intrinsic to poetic knowledge, the importance of gymnastics, the WONDER as the beginning of poetry, philosophy and science.

This chapter was a tinny bit easier for me. The author continues to explain how other philosophers understand or call poetic knowledge, and defines more of what it is and what is not. This post is just a few strokes and some ideas that chapter III inspired.

I loved his mention of the first principle of all activity being leisure, as the first principle of music being silence. I understood where Taylor was going when he differentiated subjectivity and subjectivism. The truth in subjectivity cannot be detached from the observer, but it is truth indeed. Actually, as he says, knowledge ceases to be mere information and becomes existential and recalled as real. It is an engagement with reality, not simply the discerning of reality.

This chapter left me with thirst to read Frost, and I have to mention I found his whole poems at the library sale for $1. I also thought about the song This is my Father's World when we sing "the music of the spheres".

I would like to share two connections or cases in which I found others speaking about poetic knowledge. One of them is Marguerite de Angeli. Nancy Kelly gave me this booklet called In Review, in which I read about this woman, and her words still resonate in my mind at different times of my everyday life:

Sometimes I see myself standing beside the dining table, eager to begin or continue a drawing or a page of manuscript and thinking to myself, If only I didn't have to iron Nina's dress or mend Maury's trousers or sew on that button I could-then sternly reminding myself of a happy day in my childhood, I would think, Perhaps this will be one of those days my children will remember. I'd better make it a good one!

This to me speaks about those days in which as children we are in touch with the poetic side of life. Those moments in which knowledge in the form of this intuition comes to us, and as Charlotte Mason (did she say Charlotte Mason?) speaks of ideas, an idea can be experienced even unconsciously that will stay with us for a lifetime. It is in the leisure and quietness of the ordinary when we become one with life, when we love and wonder. Then I am glad that I put an effort in guarding our time and not being too busy or too noisy that there is no room for wonder.

I also think that I get it wrong in terms of quantity. I read something like this, about poetic knowledge, and how children are pricked by an idea or a few ones, and I instantaneously think it has to be put in my schedule, check list, and it is going to happen at all times... I believe that my internal clock is now scientifically wounded and it needs to be back to the poetic tic-toc it once had without loosing its ability to mark the pass of time, though. Quite a task! I don't know if the book gets more specific to draw applications *not checklists, or it will stay in the philosophic realm as up to now. So far I'm extracting some ideas and conclusions, and I'm glad so many other clever women are reading this, for I read their posts to understand deeper and correct me if I take off on a wrong tangent.

The other connection comes from the book How to Talk to Children about Art, by Francoise Barbe-Gall. On page 13 he writes:
Hold yourself back
Above all don't go on too much about what you are going to show your child. You'll deny him the pleasure of discovering it for himself. Whatever age you are there is nothing more annoying than hearing people go on and on about something you don't know about or haven't seen, read, or visited yet. So you need to rein in your own enthusiasm; otherwise the child may feel he is entering your personal territory and that there is no room for him. If you have given him exhaustive explanations of your pleasure, your emotions, and your opinions, what is there left for him? Give him the space and the silence to find his own words.

Start where the child wants to start
Leave the question of where to start to one side. At this point the idea is not to embark on a methodical apprenticeship covering chronology, the stories of civilization, or artistic styles. Right now your only aim is to give her pleasure, the simple but rare pleasure of seeing well. Learning that you are free to look at exactly what you want and for as long (or as short) a time as you want is one of the major conditions for such a pleasure.
Isn't this a description of what happens when we are in the poetic mode, so to speak? I extend this to other areas, not just the visit of an art gallery or enjoyment of art. Barbe-Gall is saying here, maybe unintentionally, that the first principle of all activity is leisure. That wanting to know more about paintings, artists (and everything in life), comes only from a passion and love of what you are possessing or knowing poetically. I remember the examples of scientists mentioned by Taylor and I know they were not who they were because some good soul lectured them about how important it was to study about illness and how to cure people.

It is true. Poetic knowledge is tied to the spiritual, thus not popular. Our society, my friend, in case you haven't noticed, has chosen scientific knowledge and pretends to ignore poetic knowledge. At the supermarket, my husband and I talked about what shampoo to buy. There are some scents he dislikes, and others more pleasant, and then he reads "for curly hair", "to get the volume you desire", "for dry damaged hair", "scientifically proven to restore the hair from the roots to give it luster and body". Non of the descriptions of the ones who smell "right" fit our hair, for the one he liked is for colored or permed hair. And I say, how different can this liquid be from the other", do you really think that you will end up looking like Jackson in the early years after using this?, or as Diana Ross if you pick the pink bottle? We end up buying the one that will restore the pH in our hair since it has a fresh smell and it is green, which is the politically correct option I guess, too bad it doesn't come with a PHD coupon.

5 opinion(s):

Willa said...

I love what you said here:
The truth in subjectivity cannot be detached from the observer, but it is truth indeed.

I also like the connections with other books that you made. ... about making a day one that the children will remember. My father used to tell us the story of Charles Francis Adams, 19th century political figure and diplomat, who wrote one day in his diary: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son entered into his diary the same day: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!" I always remember that when I feel like I'm "wasting my time" just being around my kids.

Shari said...

I enjoyed your post, Silvia. I,too,hope we are living days the kids will look back on with pleasure. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a song going through my head while I read this book, mine is Sense of Wonder by Van Morrison.

Silvia said...

Nice story, Willa.
I'll check that song now, I don't know it, Shari.
Thanks for stopping by.

Mystie said...

The quote from How to Talk to Children about Art is excellent!

I am trying to figure out how best to prompt narrations and discussions and connections for our next school year and I will certainly keep that thought in mind.

Rebekah said...

What a great post. I especially liked when you said, "It is in the leisure and quietness of the ordinary when we become one with life, when we love and wonder. Then I am glad that I put an effort in guarding our time and not being too busy or too noisy that there is no room for wonder." A though I had associated with this quote is maybe that is why Christ taught we should become as little children? (Matthew 18:2-6)


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