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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Here are a couple of limericks inspired by moments in the history of Western Thought.  What do they have in common besides that?  Both were moments of failing to see clearly stemming from a failure to realize that we can not reach ultimate truth from merely unaided human starting points—either epistemologically or morally.  By creating an epistemology that excluded truth from divine revelation and kept itself within the bounds of human reason alone, Kant let reality (the Ding an sich or “thing in itself”) slip through his fingers.  In like manner, Augustine at one point failed to cast himself wholly on the grace of God not only to see but to do what is right.  Unlike Kant, Augustine learned better than his original error.  So should we.

Immanuel Kant

THE SLIDE TOWARD SOLIPSISM BEGINS

Limerick # 32

 

“Our knowledge,” one sage used to rant,

“Is inevitably always aslant.

The true Ding an sich

Is so sly and so slick

That when you try to see it, you Kan’t.”

 

THE CONSISTENT INCONSISTENCY OF THE OLD NATURE

MAKES SELF-REFORMATION FUTILE

Limerick # 33

 

Before he was saved, St. Augustine

Was in love with the pleasures of lustin’.

He prayed, “Make me pure,

But not yet, to be sure!”

While he prayed, his own prayer he was bustin’.

Augustine

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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CCXI

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Dr. Samuel Johnson, trying to read a Little Magazine

THE POETRY IN LITTLE MAGAZINES

(On the Limits of Imagism and Free Verse)

It struggles haphazardly across the page

In images unconnected by sound or sense.

At intervals, a gleam of freshness glints,

An accuracy of sight which could engage—

But it connects with nothing, does not lead

To anything which can be understood.

The Types—the True, the Beautiful, the Good—

Live not in the bare image; it must breed

With Mind until a Vision is engendered:

A Mediator, not a verbal trick,

To bridge the distance to the Ding an sich,

For only so can sanity be rendered—

When such a Child is born alive and quick.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD