‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]

‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.

There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

"Youtube des Beaux Arts"



About buffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone is eating or staring through a window or bouncing up and down in their seat with frustration;
How, when the young are reverently, passionately linking
To the miraculous cat-video, there always must be
Dips in broadband speed that prevent specifically you from seeing it, spinning
Those circling spokes of never-completion:
They never forgot
That the dreadful loading will never run its course
As you sit in front of your computer in a coffee shop
Thousand-yard-staring, or at home
Scratching your innocent arse and waiting.

On Vimeo, for instance: how the buffer-wheel turns around
Quite leisurely, freezing, moving again,
Freezing, rotating a few spokes, and then again
Seizing up in motionlessness, whilst you
Mumble or mutter or cry a forsaken cry,
And the expensive delicate wheel that stands between you and
Something amazing, footage of a baby monkey riding on a pig,
Maliciously denies you the vision and spins calmly on.

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