Moral Compass

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Moral Compass

Postby Macavity » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:57 am

Should poetry have a moral compass? By this, I don't mean a moral intention, but an awareness that writing can contribute to the greater evil as well as good. Would the 'world' be a better place if those words were not written? Anything goes in reality - in all art forms - but in terms of your writing should this be a consideration? A responsibility?

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Re: Moral Compass

Postby Antcliff » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:21 pm

Writing poems is acting, so any obligations we have in our acts generally pass over to those acts. I certainly don't believe that the obligations of morality fall away on wearing a beret.

But I suppose the question is whether there are any poetry specific obligations....i.e. obligations you acquire qua poet...which you would not have sans beret. And there I am inclined to say that I can't think of any. Hmm. I wish I had a more interesting answer.

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur
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Re: Moral Compass

Postby Macavity » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:24 am

And there I am inclined to say that I can't think of any


I've had the impression that you are inclined to birth the happier genre of poetry - not a bad decision in my view. Why bring more miserableness into this world?
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Re: Moral Compass

Postby Charles » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:07 pm

Although it is a pet peeve of mine when people quote Hamlet's "For nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so" out of context without realising the speaker was being bitterly ironic. In this context I think it is quite apt.

Some of the best poetry is written from the point of view of wicked or demented creatures. The dramatic monologues of Robert Browning spring to mind, as well as much of Shakespeare.

For me writing poetry is an act, an art, so it's hurled out there and people are responsible for their moral reactions to it. Any moral purpose the author had for good or evil is almost irrelevant, the audience have their own moral reaction outside of the author's intent.
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Re: Moral Compass

Postby Macavity » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:20 pm

A different art...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=COa0b-blVyc

Made me wonder...cause and effect...the responsibility of triggering irresponsibility...a writer seeding a thought that prompts an action.
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Re: Moral Compass

Postby Charles » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:26 am

Interesting interview.

Especially how the interviewer is, from where I was sitting, posing the question "do you feel bad for a work that perpetuates stereotypes of the mentally ill as inherently violent" but then goes along when hitchcock answers a different question altogether, that of his art causing "sick minds" to behave in violent ways. Quite interesting really really that Hitchcock would assume to question was about the latter when it was about the former...

Reminds me of the "Taxi Driver" thing. Ronald Reagan. I forget the bloke's name, probably good that.
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