‘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 27 June 2019

The Cow

The cow jumped over the moon. The cow jumped under the moon. The cow went around and around the moon. The cow, altering its course fractionally, spiralled in and landed upon the moon. The cow docked. The cow vented four hundred thousand litres of milk into the lunar refectory reservoir. The cow was made of a mixture of metal and plastic. The cow refuelled. The cow decoupled. The cow was piloted by an AI with an equivalent 30% more-than-bovine mental capacity. The cow jumped to orbit again.

Dawg, watching from Alpha's main observatory, sucked on a stimulant delivery package. The stimulant filled him with pleasurable thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. You might enjoy my close reading of Hey, diddle, diddle – which, BTW, has been traced back to 1765 London.

    I hear that Jeff Bezos has a herd of those cows at his Texas ranch. He's raising them for his new interplanetary delivery service.