Links: Think like a poet, academia's black sheep, Marion Cotillard on feminism

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Oct 12, 2015

For your perusal:

If you’ve ever wondered how to think like a poet, Dappled Things has got you covered with an insightful essay by Ryan Wilson. First, Wilson says, the poet must take the ancient virtue of xenia (hospitality) and apply it not just to persons, but to things and symbols. That is, open your mind to that which is strange, unfamiliar, or not fully understood. Love the world for what it is rather than what it can do for you. Enter into active contemplation of things; strive to really see them rather than use them or be used by them or abstract ideas from them.

Second, the poet must not only see deeply into things but be able to present what he sees to others. The “turn toward seeing for ourselves” and trusting our own responses Wilson calls the “Romantic turn,” while the ability to actually craft a coherent and beautiful poem and present our vision in an ultra-specific way he calls the “Classical turn”:

The developed poet’s thought is a synthesis of these turns, a circle whose circumference is the completion of the two semi-circles described by the two turns, a globe that unites the two hemispheres.

Third, the poet must be able, like Hermes, to move between two worlds: “between his personal vision and the communal language, between the past and the present, the interior world and the exterior world, the strange and the familiar.” The poet must be able to create a unified vision out of seemingly or really disparate fragments of experience, to make thought incarnate, to reorganize reality into something both newly coherent and mysterious.

You’ve probably seen articles purporting to name the most dangerous college professors in America. David Horowitz even wrote a whole book about them. But TheBestSchools.org's article listing The 10 Most Controversial College Professors in the U.S. doesn’t so much sound the alarm as say, “You ought to know about these ten fascinating and influential people”—and they’re right, you should.

This well-written list has the distinction of including people as different as Noam Chomsky and Mary Ann Glendon (a Catholic), Peter Singer and Robert P. George (another Catholic). I especially like this line about George: “There is little doubt that many more of George’s liberal opponents—whether Christian or secular—deplore his influence in private than are willing to do intellectual battle with him in public.”

Finally, French actress Marion Cotillard, whose performance as St. Joan of Arc I reviewed a while back, gives me yet another reason to crush on her. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Cotillard had this to say about feminism and the inherent difference between men and women:

For me it doesn’t create equality, it creates separation. I mean I don’t qualify myself as a feminist.

We need to fight for women’s rights but I don’t want to separate women from men. We’re separated already because we’re not made the same and it’s the difference that creates this energy in creation and love. Sometimes in the word feminism there’s too much separation.

Thomas V. Mirus is an administrative assistant and writer at CatholicCulture.org. A jazz pianist with a music degree, he often takes the lead in our commentary on the arts. See full bio.

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