Mental Calisthenics: Poetics

Art has to leave reality, it has to raise itself boldly above necessity and neediness; for art is the daughter of freedom, and it requires its prescriptions and rules to be furnished by the necessity of spirits and not by that of matter. But in our day it is necessity, neediness, that prevails, and bends a degraded humanity under its iron yoke. Utility is the great idol of the time, to which all powers do homage and all subjects are subservient. In this great balance of utility, the spiritual service of art has no weight, and, deprived of all encouragement, it vanishes from the noisy Vanity Fair of our time. The very spirit of philosophical inquiry itself robs the imagination of one promise after another, and the frontiers of art are narrowed, in proportion as the limits of science are enlarged.

-Schiller, Essays Aesthetical and Philosophical

Poetics are the beginning of the aesthetic; the aesthetic, the beautiful reveals good design.  Men known this intuitively hence hip ratios and suspension bridges and the canon of Western art.*

The decline of mellifluous language is the harbinger of the fall of mellifluous thinking; the rise of slopping thinking, the rise of slopping speaking.  One need only consider the vaunted minds of the 19th century and to ponder over their mode of writing to see clearly the decline in comparison.  The obverse is found in the vulgar nature of politically correct speaking, in the vanity of politically correct thinking, if one were to demean thinking so much as to throw gingerly into the family that nebulous mess of credulity that passes for politically correct thought.  Once a culture crosses the threshold from the beautiful, both in art and in thought, this society dies.  Something different may arise, if it is to be culturally significant expect to find aesthetics highly esteemed.

Lately I’ve wondered if the Captain isn’t correct. Should we enjoy the decline? Has the tipping point been reached beyond which there is no saving for the coming round of flesh bags? The dismal state of art tends to conclude that the Captain is correct.  One hope still that there will be a light beyond the darkness that will preserve and resuscitate beauty.

The taste of poetics come from long and continued use.  The taster’s palette is imbued with a sensitivity to nuance that comes only from experiencing those nuances with a high frequency over an extended spanse. The same applies to the game conscious, one learns over time the nature and flavor of woman to such a degree that a very limited interaction reveals a variety of factoids. So to the poetic.  When one lives with poetry for a time he begins to understand its flavors, its cadences and rhythms; he is able by a line to understand the tone of a poem, the structure and the nature. Beauty transforms into a part of his language.  For game Roosh suggests one watch an episode of Seinfeld before going out to ramp up the wit; one should do the same with a beautiful poem (not a good or great poem necessarily, only one that is aesthetically pleasing) to fill oneself with the aesthetic spirit.  If one is to enjoy the decline, he ought not outright reject the poets; no one has nurtured enjoyment more, not Bacchus, not Mars, nor Silenus, nor Venus.

The burden of fair women: Vain delight,
And love self-slain in some sweet shameful way,
And sorrowful old age that comes by night
As a thief comes that has no heart by day,
And change that finds fair cheeks and leaves them gray,
And weariness that keeps awake for hire,
And grief that says what pleasure used to say;
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of bought kisses. This is sore,
A burden without fruit in childbearing;
Between the nightfall and the dawn three-score,
Three-score between the dawn and evening.
The shuddering in thy lips, the shuddering
In thy sad eyelids tremulous like fire,
Makes love seem shameful and a wretched thing.
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of sweet speeches. Nay, kneel down,
Cover thy head, and weep; for verily
These market-men that buy thy white and brown
In the last days shall take no thought for thee.
In the last day like earth thy face shall be,
Yea, like sea-marsh made thick with brine and mire,
Sad with sick leavings of the sterile sea.
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of long living. Thou shalt fear
Waking, and sleeping mourn upon thy bed;
And say at night, “Would God the day were here,”
And say at dawn, “Would that God the day were dead.”
With weary days thou shalt be clothed and fed,
ANd wear remorse of heart for thine attire,
Pain for thy girdle and sorrow upon thine head;
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of bright colors. Thou shalt see
Gold tarnished, and the gray above the green;
And as the thing thou seest thy face shall be,
And no more as the thing beforetime seen.
And thou shalt say of mercy, “It hath been,”
And living, watch the old lips and loves expire,
And talking, tears shall take thy breath between;
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of sad sayings. In that day
Thou shalt tell all thy days and hours, and tell
Thy times and ways and words of love, and say
How one was dear and one desirable,
And sweet was life to hear and sweet to smell,
But now with lights reverse the old hours retire
And the last hour is shod with fire from hell;
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of fair seasons. Rain in spring,
White rain and wind among the tender trees;
A summer of green sorrows gathering,
Rank autumn in a mist of miseries,
With sad face set toward the year, that sees
The charred ash drop out of the dropping pyre,
And winter wan with many maladies:
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of dead faces. Out of sight
And out of love, beyond the reach of hands,
Changed in the changing of the dark and light,
They walk and weep about the barren lands
Where no seed is nor any garner stands,
Where in short breaths the doubtful days respire,
And Time’s turned glass lets through the sighing sands;
This is the end of every man’s desire.

The burden of much gladness. Life and lust
Forsake thee, and the face of thy delight;
And underfoot the heavy hour strews dust,
And overhead strange weathers burn and bite;
And where the red was, lo the bloodless white,
And where truth was, the likeness of a liar,
And where day was, the likeness of the night:
This is the end of every man’s desire.

L’Envoy
Princes, and ye whom pleasure quickeneth,
Heed well this rhyme before your pleasure tire;
For life is sweet, but after life is death:
This is the end of every man’s desire.

Algernon Charles Swinburne,  A Ballad Of Burdens

Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

*I don’t count modern “art” as part of the canon.  Much like men’s clubs chose to exclude wimmenz before the dumb age. That shit’s corrupt.

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