Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Theory Tuesday: Definitions and the Whole

In a recent interview, Iain McGilchrist says:

"It is often thought that we cannot know the whole until we understand the “parts.” But it is just as true that we cannot understand what sort of thing these “parts” we identify are, without knowing what sort of a whole they go to make up—they don’t exist separately from the wholes in which they inhere."

Many people and many poets don't want to define poetry. But we can't know what goes into poetry unless we know what poetry is. Working against the definition of art is a destructive thing. Understand the politics behind such action and wholly reject it.

At Literary Magnet you'll find poetry that is definable. That doesn't mean poetry that is limited or ugly. Rather the opposite. Thinking we know what something is is the only way to allow for novelty and beauty which are, by definition, deviations from the norm. Without definitions there is no beauty. Without definitions, everything is normal. Without definitions, poetry is impossible.

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