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Shine, Shine (was - The Problem of Being a Being)

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:51 pm
by bjondon
I wish I could believe in a higher being
That would be so grounding
To fall down on my knees five times a day
And really, really hear my soul resounding

Said soul smirks up : All transcendence is sex
Heidegger's hacked the skies, look into my eyes
Sublimity's clowns - that's you and me, honey -
We've rigged the decks

So yeah, life is shinola and we are shit
And this, and this, and this is it



………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
[url=https://ibb.co/kt1OUq][img]https://preview.ibb.co/cJnaaV/image.jpg[/img

I wish I could believe in a higher being,
that would be so grounding.
I wish I could pray, five times a day
and hear my soul resounding.

And if you sigh: All transcendence is sex!
LOOK INTO MY EYES Sublimity's clowns
have rigged the decks.
I would smile:

Clown-soul. Sweet sublimated heart.
Each time you bright beguile, I catch
the alter-echo of our frail and fractal shout;
this is our prayer, this is our little air:

What is God, if not doubt?




V4
I wish I could believe in a higher being
That would be so grounding
To fall, fall down in prayer, five times a day
And hear my soul resounding

And if it sighs:

All transcendence is sex
Heidegger's hacked the skies
Look into my eyes, sublimity's clowns
Have rigged the decks


Then I'd smile back:

Clown-soul! Sweet sublimated heart
While you so bright beguile
I deep discern
Each frail and fractal shout

This is our ground, our giddy prayer
And this
This is our little air:


What is God, if not doubt?





V3
I wish I could believe in a higher being
That would be so grounding
To fall, fall in prayer, five times a day
And hear my soul resounding

And if it sighs: All transcendence is sex
Heidegger's hacked the skies, look into my eyes
Sublimity's clowns have rigged the decks


Then I'd say, to this soul, which is surely mine
Or at least a book of instructions:
Yes, go on, cherish your sex, let me cherish my doubts
I can live without god, deep discern our frail shouts
Be the clowns, ride the hex
...all the way, all the way
To unending's sweet inductions





Heidegger's Eyes. 2nd revision

I wish I could believe in a higher being
That would be so grounding
To fall into prayer five times a day
And hear my soul resounding

And if it sighs: All transcendence is sex
Heidegger's hacked the skies, look into my eyes
Sublimity's clowns have rigged the decks


I would say to this soul which is surely mine
Or at least a book of instructions:
You can keep half the sex, let me cherish my doubts
We can both kneel to god, deep discern our frail shouts

So us clowns ride the hex all the way, all the way
To unending's sweet inductions





Heidegger's Eyes 1st revision

I wish I could believe in a higher being.
That would be so grounding.
I wish I could pray five times a day
And hear my soul resounding.

And if it sighs: "All transcendence is sex.
Heidegger's hacked the skies. Look into my eyes.
Sublimity's clowns have rigged the decks."


I'd laugh. Tighten my scarf.
Apologise on this week's monster's behalf.
Don the shoes. Paint my nose.
Sing the only bloody song that rhymes with rose

And pray, to this soul, which is surely mine
Or at least a book of instructions:
"Let me free from your bliss.
Discern, discern each deepening this."

All the way to suicide's
Sweet inductions."


Heidegger's Eyes. Original

I wish I could believe in a higher being.
That would be so grounding.
I wish I could pray five times a day
And hear my soul resounding.

And if it sighs, "All transcendence is sex.
Heidegger's hacked the skies. Look into my eyes.
Sublimity's clowns have rigged the decks."

I'd laugh. Tighten my scarf.
Apologise on this week's monster's behalf.
Don the shoes. Paint my nose.
Sing the only bloody song that rhymes with rose

And pray, to this soul, which is surely mine
Or at least a book of instructions,
"Check your face. Check the last place.
Check once, just once, that first forgotten embrace

And then, all knowing, all seeing, fuck
That old, old problem of being a being
All the way to suicide's sweet inductions."

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:38 am
by Perry
I understand the poem up to the first quotation mark. Because I'm tired, I couldn't bring myself to read an entire article on Heidegger to understand the poem. I'll give it a stab later after I've slept.
(I wanted to say something because it has been a day and a half since you posted the poem. I didn't see it right away.)

To be honest, I wonder if you wrote this with the reader in mind. If writing clearly is not important to you, are you at least leaving enough clues in the poem for the reader to figure it out?

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:39 am
by ray miller
It's a poem I wish I understood better, mostly because there's some nice lines even if I don't get the context every time. I like the opening couplet and enjoyed the 2nd stanza, without fully grasping it. After that I was lost. I know little enough about Heidegger but I did discover someone commenting that it was difficult to describe his face because he never looked you in the eyes. Didn't help that much.

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:07 pm
by bjondon
Thanks Perry and mac,
Most of what I know about Martin Heidegger comes from Sarah Bakewell's brilliant 'At the Existentialist's Cafe'
- she dropped out of a philosophy degree course because she couldn' t handle it, then came back to it on her own terms
in her 30's . . .exactly my level - the questions fascinate the waffle baffles.

You could see his thinking as one of the key roots of postmodern individualism, informing the beat generation, the 60's social revolution and yet he is also famous for his troubling flirtation with National Socialism. Students and colleagues spoke about
his almost hypnotic effect on them . . . he inspired fanatical followers . . . you can't avoid the parallel with A Hitler.

'Heidegger's hacked the skies' -- I'm not even sure myself what that means.
I was trying to extend the idea of transcendence not just to art and religion but
also to the driving forces of humanist philosophy . . .the incisive rational thoughts of a humane and decent man.

Perry, thamks for picking this up. When I think about how and why I came
towrite this piece I think I was partly inspired by the way you put yourself
on the line in your own work.
I don't like tortuous wilfully obscure poetry myself but I do seem to write it!

Regards, Jules

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:03 pm
by churinga
Hi Jules

I found it entirely understandable.
You refer to your soul as 'it' in V2, I think it is easy to misread this and not be sure what the next verses are referring back to.
The poem is a bit bumpy technically.
I've read a few books about Heideggers philosophy,
I couldn't find anything in your poem that reflected his ideas.
I did like the idea of the clown.

cheers

Ross

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:45 am
by Perry
Jules, there is nothing at all wrong with a poet writing a poem that only some people will understand -- in this case, people who know Heidegger and are familiar with his philosophy. I have often said that if even one intelligent person on a poetry forum "gets" your poem, then that is all the confirmation you need that it is successful. In this case, Ross has read Heidegger and gets your poem, so there you are.

Now, having said that, I have encountered people on other forums who praised everything that they read, but Ross certainly isn't one of those. One of the marks of a good poet is that he sticks to his guns if he believes in his work.

Re: Heidegger's Eyes

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:28 pm
by bjondon
Thank you Ross and Perry,
Given the notorious difficulty of Heidegger's philosophy, parachuting him into a poem
is a tad foolhardy. He is here in my appropriation mostly as an ordinary man but also
representing our common cultural inheritance (which may well have mangled his original ideas).

I have just discovered he wrote a couple of books about poetry and was fascinated by Holderlin.
Willhave to dig them out.
Arguably the modernist poets got to some of these key ideas first.. :D

That last stanza is too jagged. I wannted some violence before the last cradling
but it is really not working.
I can't think of a better pronoun for 'soul' in V2 - both 'I' or 'you' would I think be more confusing.
There may be another way of making it clearer.
I have posted a revision.

Jules

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (revision)

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:24 pm
by Charles
Hi Jules,

I really liked the first two stanzas, really sets a good tone and carries you along, "all transcendence is sex" is a very well delivered cynical line. "Heidegger's hacked the skies. Look into my eyes." is a great line and a neat internal rhyme as well. Although I don't know enough about heidegger to comment on its accuracy, my impression is your using him as a stand on a for a modern materialist philosopher who leaves no room for a transcendental reality or ideals? It works well if that is the meaning.

Though while we're on that stanza, do we need the full stop after "eyes" or "sex", they don't seem to be the end of a sentence, it might be better to let the line breaks add the emphasis for you instead of using punctuation so liberally.

Then, for me it goes a bit wonky eg. "Apologise on this week's monster's behalf." should that be weak? It would make more sense but don't want to presume. Also the rhyme scheme is what helped carry me along in the first two stanza with "grounding/resounding" (great rhyme) and the oblique "sex/decks" and I feel you lose that ending on the strong rhyme by going AABB in S3 and from there the rhyme seems to peter out completely by the end which is a shame.

I feel like the last three stanzas could be condensed and done a lot better, to be more faithful to the very good opening. I think I see where you are going with them but feel there is a bit more work to be done.

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (2nd revision)

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:06 pm
by bjondon
Thanks Charles that was very helpful.
I have posted a reviision with an ABAB ABBA ABCCAB scheme.

Regards, Jules

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (3rd revision)

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:17 am
by Charles
Hi Jules

I think the revisions are improvements. It's still a bit like a jigsaw puzzle though, in that I don't quite grasp the meaning of the last stanza. Maybe I'm thinking too hard...

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (3rd revision)

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:22 pm
by ton321
Hi Jules,

I liked this piece, though I didn't understand most of it. There seem to be a conflict between rationality, and mystical transcendence. Reminded me of the tortuous logic of a Donne poem,

Tony

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (final revision)

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:54 pm
by bjondon
Thanks for coming back Charles and glad you found something in it Tony.
I have let the dust settle, I think this revision is a bit clearer but it could
be I am just flogging a dead Donne-ish horse.
Jules

Re: Heidegger's Eyes (final revision)

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:21 pm
by Moth
Why do I get the feeling you've caged an eagle with this? Regardless of subject, I found your original far freer and therefore more passionate and certainly more contemporary in nature than the final version. I was, however wondering about the quotation marks, if this is a quote in V1, maybe it does take up too much space, still... I loved this week's monster btw.

Re: The Problem of Being a Being (sculpture/poem) formerly Heideggers Eyes

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:09 pm
by bjondon
Hi Moth,
glad you responded to the spirit of that original -
it has a bigger goose pimple factor, both in the cadence
and in its attempt (failed) to fly. But it doesn't really
make any attempt to grapple with S1
I fell in love with the opening stanza's nursery rhyme
sense of reassurance and honesty - it is answered first
with cynicism (I've finally realized that Heidegger wasn't
really needed) - I think that bit works; and then comes
the 'synthesis' - too smarmy and languid in V4 but
tightened up a bit in V5 and also introducing my new
concept of sculpture/poem combos!
Regards, Jules

Re: The Problem of Being a Being (sculpture/poem) formerly Heideggers Eyes

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:11 pm
by Moth
Crikey - that's some sculpture. Perhaps it says more about me that I'm drawn to the knot in the middle of the knitting than I am to the eyes, but I would say they do fit Heidegger, or any such similar being, Hitler, Manson, et al. V5 reads better than V4 I think, but it's hard to say.

Re: Shine, Shine (was - The Problem of Being a Being)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:01 pm
by bjondon
Cracked it!