February 28, 2004

on my mind

Rilke's "The Panther"

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.
As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.
Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

by Rainier Maria Rilke, tr. by Stephen Mitchell

Posted by jonsligh at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2004

A word.

Occasionally I will hear a song or read a poem that has the ability to
re-create exactly a certain feeling or mood. Through his words the
artist paints a picture with stunning clarity of a certain feeling. For example, every time I read Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est," I experience a certain feeling (for lack of a more precise term)--a mixture of horror at that violence that robs a person of his humanity and of sorrow at man's constant propensity toward bloodshed. A feeling or emotion that my experiences with life have created can be re-created by merely reading words on a page.

Songs and literature can do that for me. For others, a painting, a sculpture, nature, a cello piece can do the same; a compilation of words or sound frequencies or splashes of paint can communicate with amazing clarity a feeling or emotion that is universal to man or is personal to the individual. I'm still not sure how art can do that. The piece of artwork is more than the sum of its parts.

As this thought has been developing in my mind, I've been searching for a single word or phrase that captures what I've been describing: a work's ability to create a feeling or emotion that replicates a feeling or emotion created by real life. I've been fruitless thus far.

Any ideas?

Posted by jonsligh at 10:49 PM | Comments (14)

February 05, 2004

theology, morality

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.
- Steve Turner

Posted by jonsligh at 10:12 PM | Comments (3)