why-to: a short and helpful guide to motivate one’s pursuit of activities
a.) previously not pursued
b.) pursued so regularly that no one knows or remembers why they’re doing them in the first place.
2.0 DRIVING CARS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
2.2.4 Why-to like poetry:
No matter how much you’d like to temporarily not exist, you find yourself ceaselessly existing. Such a situation may make it impossible to take a step back and re-examine the things in your life and their possible purposes. If you could remove yourself entirely from the world of the world, you might take a look at poetry.
The main function that poetry serves, according to most 7th grade English teachers, is to “communicate via metaphors, similes, personification, and other modes of figurative language to evoke an emotional response or create a sensual mental picture in the reader of a poem (Edward Millet, 7th grade English teacher).” While this is certainly true, it doesn’t really capture the entirety of what the point of poetry is.
Surely, before the advent of the written word, poetry, parsed into rhythmic or rhyming lines accompanied by occasional refrains, aided storytellers in the transmission of information. Not only did the mnemonic properties of poetry allow the storyteller to recite a poem from memory, but they also hooked a community’s history and cultural values into the listeners’ minds.
Times certainly have changed, however. Poetry may still occasionally maintain some elements that make it easy to memorize and recite and it is certainly steeped in the history and cultural values of a society, but it is not often thought of as the primary mode of transmitting important information in many contemporary cultures.
2.2.4, A Why-to define information:
Information is one of those words that has a vague and amorphous definition. It was probably less prevalent in language before the rise of systems theory and the invention of the computer, so we typically associate it with the ones and zeroes of the digital age. Information can be the “bare facts”, any seemingly relevant piece of data that is verified to be true and causes an apparent increase in your knowledge regarding the reality situation, such as “Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska” or “did you hear that they came up with a robot that can climb walls?” The problem with this type of information, however, is that it can be hard to distinguish from misinformation or only partially authenticated evidence, such as “odd numbers are unlucky” or “Camel cigarettes are good for your T-Zone”. What many people don’t realize is that data collected by the senses is information too and, in some ways, may be more reliable than conceptual data presented in the form of words and numbers. Your own perceptual and sensual experience can provide information that results in a greater understanding of the reality situation in ways that symbols never could.
Despite this fact, there will always be the transmission of some information in poetry, as it utilizes humanity’s major form of communication: written and spoken language. That is to say, it is still doing something to alter the experience of a reader of poetry or listener to poetry, even if it uses highly symbolic, often non-explicit language to do so.
In order to best understand the effects that poetry has, I might have to take it upon myself to write some. I am not entirely sure how one goes about this process, but I assume that I have to wait for something… a desire… an urge to wax within… for the creative act to take hold and, soon, I will be able to experience first-hand why someone might like poetry.
Let’s give it a try. I can sense a bit of incubation, something growing. Yes, I can feel the poetry waxing now:
2.2.4, B Why-to think of everything as a plant:
Is a metaphor for
Like a simile for
Why not choose the metaphor
That relaxes us most
And makes our decisions
Most reasoned and calm
A starting point
Deep within the Earth
That grows outward
Everything right now
A stalk that is still
Taking in the nutrients
Information and experience
My decisions, then, plant-like,
Branching out this way and that
Climbing up walls
With no clear idea
Guided by some light
At some angle
That it has
Bump into a wall or something
Another plant might grow up
In the way
Blocking the necessary nutrients to survive and to
With the sunlight being
The idea that one-day
The plant will
Be able to enjoy itself
Everything around it
Well, it seems that the experience of writing a poem does do something to the writer, excites certain emotions. In fact, it can be a meditative act at times, while at other times it can bring about thoughts and feelings that were completely unanticipated.
And the formatting of a poem does something to frame the eye of the reader, I think. The poem’s division into lines makes each segment into a distinct image or concept,
which is then juxtaposed with the preceding images and concepts to redefine each of those individual lines.
omission of words
rethinking the significance
force your attention
to behave in ways
do not normally behave.
While reading a novel
I am not entirely sure
a piece of beautifully crafted artwork
slaved away at
meant to be placed
onto the pedestal
of the mind’s eye
where it can be admired from all perspectives.
By framing something as “poetry”, however, there is an implicit mandate that the work be thought about carefully.
So, one reason to like poetry, then, would be that, when approached appropriately, force the mind
into an attitude
of careful consideration
that, when working
at its fullest
directs the experiencer of a poem to,
in fact, frame all of reality as a poem.
less of an art form
more a state of mind
where all things can spin off into the ether of significance – tangible archetypes abound to take hold of you and reintroduce the primordial concepts of fundamental transformation as etched upon the walls of the skull.
For inside the drop of a hat fall the most mystical assumptions, on the edge of a leaf in the early morning, barely able to see out the window. Your molecules tend towards a certain vibrancy, but only certain as measured by experts in the field of molecular vibration. I’m happy with a rough estimate of the degree if you are. The agreement achieved was celebrated with the endless tumult of forming and then reforming all of everything for ever, Ethan, Evan, and, even, ever Amen.
In which case, it might be a good idea to put the phrase “a poem” after anything and everything and to even re-read things
with that subtitle in mind.
Each sensation was a sacrifice to that fact.
Until the moment itself was,
to put simply, but less lucidly,
a representation of the collection
of moments with all of the everything,
a bullet train or dandelion,
burrowing through you all of the time.
In that way, poetry was planted secretly – obviously intended as a decoder in a wide range of decoders that lined the letters up just so as to achieve the ultimate idiot idiom ultimatum:
Nonsense is sense out of context
Sense is nonsense in too much context
There is no such thing as nothing
There is no thing that is not
If there were such thing as nothing
There would be no thing to be not
2.4.6 Why-to not like poetry:
The problem with understanding poetry is that you have to use poetry to describe poetry and, at that point, no one who doesn’t already understand poetry will be able to understand you. It seems to be partially an experience on the part of the writer that uses the writer’s highly subjective language. As an expression of this experience, the language of poetry is more than adequate. As a method of communicating tangible, rational information, it falls short. Poetic turns of phrase are only practical forms of communication to an extent, where telling someone to “look on the bright side” could cheer them up when they’re feeling down, but any further exploration into the poetic and the recitation of an entire poem might only irritate, confuse, or disturb them in the same way that quiet humming probably doesn’t bother many people, but unauthorized singing in public causes most people to cringe and could, if all circumstances aligned in such a way, lead to outbursts of violence and wanton destruction. Therefore, it is probably for the best that poetry be relegated to its own arena of cultural participation and production until a time comes in which members of society are much more tolerable of poetic behavior and the underlying purposes of poetry are better understood by the overwhelming majority of people. In other words, be sure to manage your poetic impulses for the time being.