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Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Pare (---.cogeco.net)
Date: September 29, 2004 09:00PM

Anyone know any poems dealing with anything related to philosophy. I need some for class, and I can't really find any. Thanks


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: September 29, 2004 10:19PM

Pare, you probably need to be more specific in your search for poems. As I often caution students of poetry, whenever a teacher/professor gives you an assignment; such as, "pick a topic and find 5 poems which illustrate that topic". It is always better to use poems that you have already read in class and use a topic that relates to those poems, than to pick a topic off the top of your head and then try to find poems to fit your own topic. No matter how relevant you feel YOUR topic to be.

Having said that, here are some possible topics you might use for a search about philosophical poetry.

A. Belief systems

B. Insanity/Madness

C. Religion/God

D. Existence/Suicide




There are many more philosophical topics which I'm sure you could think of by yourself. Any one of these, or one of your own divisions of philosophy could produce ample reading and examples for this assignment. Merely take the topic you have chosen and do a google search. For instance, type in "poems about God/belief. This will give you plenty of poems about the topic.

I hope this helps you get started. Good luck with your search. Let us know how it goes.

Les



Post Edited (09-29-04 21:22)


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 29, 2004 11:17PM

Well said Les.

Philosophy is a huge subject, Pare. Can you narrow it down a bit?

One approach would be to Google the names of some well known philosophers combined with ‘poem’ or 'poetry' and see what comes up.

Meanwhile, a couple of limericks to illustrate a point made in the Berkeley dialogues:
Q. What happens to things when we cease to perceive them?
A. They continue to exist because God perceives them.
[www.colorado.edu] />

There once was a man who said God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If He finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there’s no one around in the quad.


Dear sir, your astonishment’s odd
I’m always about in the quad
And that’s why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by, yours faithfully, God.



Post Edited (09-30-04 08:12)


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 29, 2004 11:32PM

A limerick arising from the philosophical debate over whether we have free will or live lives predestined by mechanical cause and effect:

There was a young man who said "Damn!
I have suddenly found that I am
A creature that moves
In predestined grooves.
I'm not even a bus; I'm a tram."

(There are various versions of this; but as it's anonymous I pick the one I like best)



Post Edited (09-30-04 00:41)


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 01:43AM

And one on the illusion/reality distinction:

There was a faith healer of Deal
Who said "Although pain is not real,
When I sit on a pin
And it punctures my skin,
I dislike what I fancy I feel."


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 08:33AM

Any Of the poems of Wallace Stevens, especially An Ordinary Evening in New Haven, deals with philosophy through poetry.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 08:37AM

Try Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens. Great poem, Has to do with knowing and seeing and being.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 11:27AM

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Philosophy Street?


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 11:31AM

Holy Crap ! it DOES exist ! ! ! ! ! ! ! there IS a Philosophy street !

[bently.diaryland.com] />


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 11:57AM

Zack Bumstead useter flosserfize
About the ocean an' the skies;
An' gab an' gas f'um morn till noon
About the other side of the moon;
An' 'bout the natur of the place
Ten miles beyond the end of space.
An' if his wife she'd ask the crank
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to yank
Hisself out-doors an' git some wood
To make her kitchen fire good,
So she c'd bake her beans an' pies,
He'd say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' then he'd set an' flosserfize
About the natur an' the size
Of angels' wings, an' think and gawp,
An' wonder how they make 'em flop.
He'd calkerlate how long a skid
'Twould take to move the sun, he did;
An' if the skid was strong an' prime,
It couldn't be moved to supper-time.
An' w'en his wife 'd ask the lout
Ef he wouldn't kinder waltz about
An' take a rag an' shoo the files,
He'd say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' then he'd set an' flosserfize
'Bout schemes for fencing in the skies,
Then lettin' out the lots to rent,
So's he could make an honest cent.
An' if he'd find it pooty tough
To borry cash fer fencin'-stuff;
An' if 'twere best to take his wealth
An' go to Europe for his health,
Or save his cash till he'd enough
To buy some more of fencin'-stuff.
Then, ef his wife she'd ask the gump
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to hump
Hisself to t'other side the door,
So she c'd come an' sweep the floor,
He's look at her with mournful eyes,
An' say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' so he'd set an' flosserfize
'Bout what it wuz held up the skies,
An' how God made this earthly ball
Jest simply out er nawthin' 'tall.
An' 'bout the natur, shape an' form
Of nawthin' that he made it from.
Then, ef his wife she'd ask the freak
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to sneak
Out to the barn an' find some aigs,
He'd never move, nor lift his laigs;
He'd never stir, nor try to rise,
But say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' so he'd set an' flosserfize
About the earth, an' sea, an' skies,
An' scratch his head, an' ask the cause
Of w'at there wuz before time wuz,
An' w'at the universe 'd do
Bimeby w'en time hed all got through;
An' jest how fur we'd have to climb
Ef we sh'd travel out er time;
An' ef we'd need, w'en we got there,
To keep our watches in repair.
Then, ef his wife she'd ask the gawk
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to walk
To where she had the table spread,
An' kinder git his stomach fed,
He'd leap for that ar kitchen door,
An' say, "W'y didn't you you speak afore?"
An' when he'd got his supper et,
He's set, an' set, an' set, an' set,
An' fold his arms, an' shet his eyes,
An' set, an' set, an' flosserfize.
--Sam Walter Foss


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: September 30, 2004 02:31PM

Or how about this one from Monty Python.

Philosopher's Song
(Monty Python)

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am"
Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed!


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: RJAllen (---.creation-net.co.uk)
Date: September 30, 2004 02:44PM

Lucretius: De Rerum Naturam is both a great poem and philosophy.
Thomas hobbes [author of Levaiathan] wrote his autobiography in Latin hexameters.
Poets who included philosophy or wrote poems influenced by philosophical ideas: T S Eliot, Lord Rochester, Milton, Stefan Themerson, William Empson, John Donne, A D Hope, Samuel Butler


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 02:58PM

A philosopher went into a restaurant and ordered a chicken salad sandwich and an egg salad sandwich. He wanted to see which would come first.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 06:03PM

two rights and whatever's left, I'm told


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 06:56PM


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 08:42PM

two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left !


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 30, 2004 10:46PM

the synister philo sophier asks: what's left if you don't know what's right?


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nwc.acsalaska.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 02:00AM


My mother wrote a poem about Descartes... I'll try to find or remember the whole thing. One passage goes:

Ah, no, Descartes, you were wrong.
The soul is restless
and resides most happily
in the eye.

(This refers to an episode in Descartes's life when he was pressured by religious authorities into endorsing the dogma-of-the-day, that the soul's residence was in the pituitary gland. I am not making this up, though I may be remembering it a bit foggily.)

========

Keats's sonnet about mortality ("When I have fears that I may cease to be...") is about philosophy as a coping mechanism.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 09:19AM

See "The Rock" by Stevens, which begins

Seventy Year Later

It is an illusion that we were ever alive,
Lived in the houses of mothers, arraanged ourselves
By our own motions in a freedom of air.


and ends with

Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep.

Most poems about epistemology or ontology or aesthetics or ethics don't say they are "about philosophy," but they all are.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 12:06PM


Descartes to a tavern was drawn;
Took a table outside, on the lawn.
Said the serving wench, 'Dear,
Would you care for a beer?'
'I think not.' And like that, he was gone.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 12:47PM

Past and future fall away.
There is only the rose and blue
Shimmer of the illimitable
Sea surface.
No place.
No time.

trans. Kenneth Rexroth


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 01:59PM

epistemology or ontology or aesthetics or ethics, or
knowing, being, seeing (perceiving)), and doing.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: October 01, 2004 04:06PM

Descartes died of getting up early, I always said it was better to have a lie in. He was employed by Queen Christina of Sweden to teach her philosophy, but she wanted the lessons in the early morning before breakfast, he prefered to stay in bed till lunch. The queen had her way and he died of a chill.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 04:20PM

the early bird
gets eaten by worms


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 04:23PM

The man born with winter December 22nd.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 07:28PM

One of your best, Hugh. And for the non-American speaker who normally says 'gone' with a short vowel sound as in 'upon', rhyming it with 'drawn'/'lawn' makes for a little extra comic touch. Like the comedian's 'Gawd' instead of the churchman's 'God'.

Thanks also for Zack Bumstead.


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: October 01, 2004 09:24PM

And the Buddhist went up to the hot dog vendor and said 'Make me one with everything.'

pam


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: October 01, 2004 09:28PM

The Philosopher


AND what are you that, wanting you,
I should be kept awake
As many nights as there are days
With weeping for your sake?

And what are you that, missing you,
As many days as crawl
I should be listening to the wind
And looking at the wall?

I know a man that's a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man on my mind?

Yet women's ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,--
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?

--Edna St. Vincent Millay


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: October 01, 2004 09:48PM

So the Buddist gives the hotdog vender $10.00
and the vendor puts it in his pocket
The Buddist says, "where's my change"
and the hotdog vender says,
"my son, change must come from within"


Re: Poems dealing with philosophy-related topics
Posted by: Pare (---.cogeco.net)
Date: October 02, 2004 12:25AM

Well pretty much anything to do with philosophy, its a really general assignment. I'm sort of leaning on the lines of knowledge and truth. Anything works really, poems, quotes, little jokes. Even artwork, I have some Salvador Dali, I know this is a poetry forum, but if anyone knows any it could help. thanks




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