Pull up a chair by the fire, here, let’s have us a fireside chat..there. Time for a little Q&A..Q: Does the artist through his work give glory to God, A-men! or B.) does he seek to glorify self? (Survey..slides, R&L:Rembrandt painted the prodigal son received joyously in his father’s arms; b.) Andy Warhol made soup cans, Next..as TO MUSIC, Handel: The Messiah compared and contrasted with b.) Schubert lieder/street rappers’ schlock, leads –? Oar, as in poetry, NEXT! Psalm 23, penned by David, son of Jesse..of Bethlehem, vs. Bukowski’s POST OFFICE, mm..Letters, letters everywhere! and not a thought..to think.)
Where is that anointing that makes art from? (Inspiration) darkness..or light? love, or indifference? outside..or within? Slide (specimen): “Nude, Descending a Staircase, No. 2” is good for what dead poet ‘J.’ – coined, “..a spurious eternity.” She is, enigmatic..at once fascinating, female, –monumental! metamorphosing sensual chocolate tones in soft movements before the eyes, seemingly transcendent of time/space..by human understanding, but! she is going down, not up, –compare: Narcissus – of the Greek Narcissuses, mythological..whose likeness was found, among other places, on the stately wall of a residence beneath the ashes of Pompeii when it was uncovered (historically) – is a more primal touchstone, against which to beat heads for answers..at once emblematic of the perils posed by over-meditating on the perception of ‘the beautiful’ ..bottom-line married himself in a private ceremony, saying, “I do” to his own sensuality, and dash! reflected in a pool, –fable of satanic enslavement..fact! while Paul the apostle, nee Saul of Tarsus, a pharisee’s pharisee trying his damnedest to do God’s work, and failing miserably..like, What’s new? fell, blind, in love with Jesus! in broad daylight, The Son, brighter than a sun, shining..supernatural, happening now! then, following simple directions given by the Lord, is led to the street called ‘Straight’ and meets the man who, also obeying a word from G-d, lays hands on Saul and prays..and scales, as it were, fell from blinded eyes, ++, both physically and spiritually, a heart of stone made flesh, by the Spirit, revealing the bright future of a forever spent dwelling in the holy presence of the Godhead..Son, Father, –and Holy Ghost in their heaven, consummated in marriage, followed immediately, in the next future event, by the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), Hallelujah! transformed, living fully, from that moment on, for our Saviour in the here and now..glory to God! both now and forever with unspeakable joy..somewhere along the way, (Paul) was executed – by rabid religious people – died, went to the third heaven, saw it, which, he said it was very cool but can’t talk about that; and was sent back to earth to finish up. You! are you kings? You will be casting your crowns at his feet, the feet of the LORD of lords and King of kings! to whom the angels forever sing
Paul , the Paul of so many painters’ rich canvases, from early, until of late, saw it and said (more or less), Until that time..
In artistic expression, as in all forms of social commentary, common..or exquisite! there is both the genuine, and the disingenuous..unfathomable treasure, vs. ___, –whatever you care to supply ( fill in the blank). “In the beginning God created” (and all of the rest) declares ___ (fill in the blank..on your heart). Was Moses the poet? “Mu” as a Chinese might respond (Trans: The question makes no sense). Vocalization, of thought..feeling, speaking it out, is the supreme form, the foundation of art in this world, spoken words originating with God, or, –? and is the most natural and spontaneous expression of love and gratitude, deep down, from our humanness..soul to Creator, heart to heart. In it we are co-equals with all the brothers and sisters singing praises to the Most High; as it was that “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made;” ~Psalm 33:6 Or..God, by his Word, spoke all things into existence; as do the poets, valiantly..and perhaps vainly, in their wrestlings with words – perforating, dicing, slicing and stabbing at them – endeavor to make something, out of nothing! for we are dust. And we who are dust seek a power beyond our selves, our mortal selves! a greater than, and all of the rest of it, etc., etc..to create something very special; and very,VERY good (egos aside..we hope!) to attract attention to what we are doing..making ‘art’ or whatever, to lift up..(what).
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
~Genesis 1:1 (What happened)
Every expression, or art f o r m, –I declare unto you! begins with poetry. Poetry is a something, an indefinite, is fleeting, as a vapor, like us, like..cup of coffee, black, and arctic sunrise, or, radiator in front on a FORD Pinto wagon pierced through with holes, corrupted; and eking out steam – Eek! dead, on the side of the road, to Tarsus..like a rat on an interstellar, my G-d! IT..Your poem, is in the nature, our very soul! whether we know it, or not..like it, deny it, or acknowledge/receive ___ (gnosis) it. Poetry..first happens in the consciousness, in the heart of a sentient being, a human’s, –when! I think, therefore I am was but a distant brain event that found its expression in words, codified, –ala Sonny&Cher’s semi-immortal sentiment, “La-da-dada-dee..la-da-dada dahh”..what is that/thatiswhat (chutzpah, right).
The mortal journey of self-discovery is the path of a person – God leading – to an awareness of..immortality. I would hope it might, no..it must! must needs lead us
“–But, where?” (I said) and he said
“There..we may yet be THERE!!”
(Winston Churchill’s own poem-ending he had read in the lady’s uncomprehending literal ear, seeking witness to ___; no poetry in her soul..blind of heart? perhaps..But,) the only satisfying/fulfilling/needful outcome in any of this/all of it – as we sojourn! – is a personal revelation for the seeker, –by the Spirit of the living God, that he truly has value in the eyes of his/her Creator, that, I AM..Is! and, –all is confirmed according to his Word and sealed in the faith..of the Lord Jesus Christ. God must needs hit us over the head with it, occasionally, –gently! I might add, so we may know it to be..Truth (take my soriticalities..PLEASE. Churchill, by the way, was not only very good with poetry and public speaking, but after his wartime service took up oil painting, from scratch! and turned out to be a wonderful painter, writing an authoritative, and very readable book on the subject..an encourager, he was!)
Socrates..Socrates. We all know what happened there..with him, at least I hope we do, as long as we’re all allowed to vote! That’s politics, what happened to Socrates, you know, when you can’t do the artichoke ‘thing’ in the course of a simple dialogue on what you like, –about what’s up with that, then..BOO!! we freak out because we’re, –TOO SENSITIVE! ‘CAUSE OUR BELIEFS WON’T STAND UP..SO WE MUST NEEDS, –ETC., ETC. (For reference, there are ‘snapshots’ available, of Socrates, taken by various sculptors, in scattered locales over time, which may be seen..what remains to be seen is if they are accurate.)
Socrates was, perhaps, the first preacher; and a fine one! although his style of preaching, pre-church, and by pure intellect, was a subtractive approach, rather than expository; or a method. With that, he may have been the first methodist (maybe even was with The First Methodists), having not had the benefit of meeting with the person he seems to have desired all his life to hear from, and to know..who had all the answers to all the questions he would ever want to ask, and! without..taking offense –?? who could render those questions meaningless, or non-essential preemptively, by..his omniscient character, his suzerainness, –and his LOVE for the people, among a group of us..guys. Possible? Certainly! But no..He was stuck instead with a tawdry bunch of the citizens of the city of Athens, post-golden, –robes, morning hair ratted and dull of hearing, each claiming to have that sparkling kernel of kosmic insight that explains the very meaning of all existence, –that gives rest to the weary, “Vote for me and I’ll set you free!” etc., etc..those philosophers! harghh!!
“Yo! ho! Yo! ho! a-politicians’ life for me..” (right?)
Poets, of themselves, are a weak..breed, can only serve, whatever, –pleasure of the moment, unless! unless they are hearing it from God, as was Isaiah, dedicated messenger of G-d living intimately in his presence, since a youth, like David..who – with divine help – slew Goliath of Gath; with one..chosen..smooth..stone; from that brook. I am sitting here, typing this into my, –no! not my, a! (uh, t h e computer, gift from my precious mom..dearly departed). What is mine? Nothing! naked came I into the world..as Job was explaining, to his so-called friends (as it is written in one of the most ancient manuscripts known to bibliophiles), –naked! Not even an Android..naked, I came, nothing is mine..nothing! nothing but my will. What can I do with that? However shall I profit? (to own nothing but my will, o my soul! do I own that, even? Bless the LORD..what shall I render). So Socrates’ main talking-point was this, like: What is your main talking-point? please explain your self, your..(whatever). It seems to me Socrates was searching for a man like his latter days magic-lantern cynic guy counterpart Diogenes sought after..not a human, altogether, but a man who embodied TRUTH and no hypocrite! (like some people we know). A man, a person, –whatever, can only live self-satisfied for a bit of time, laboring under an illusion..that is, in a self centered universe. This is the picture of a weak poet..another Narcissus, gazing admiringly upon his own reflection in the pool; and frozen to the spot..powerless! The key to Narcissus’s fallacy in this is his worship, not of the Creator, but of the created thing, –ME! myself, I..where all human creativity loses meaning and purpose..when the soul has died, dried up, and gone (wherever); but that is no answer.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
~John1:1 (John, of the Revelation, here presents the New Covenant..we are now past the history/ how we got here, and focused on where are we going, –next!)
The only poetry-gift in terms of the poetic impulse that keeps giving – without change – is in The Word..The Word of God. Socrates was the supreme serious Gentile thinker of his day, half a millennium ahead of The Revelation of Saint John, The Divine..Socrates, quite a-ways after Job, by a few mill; and while he had not the benefit of a Jesus to learn from in his circle of brainy Greek buddies, –nor the religion of a Job, of the Jews, the chosen people, –of God! to be a light, also, for the Gentiles, he recognized acutely the artifice in the professions of his so-called artist friends…he saw the flat dimension in their pleadings, to their disciples, to follow, and help out in what they taught, to be..good groupies in quest of a good immortality for themselves, and..some others, until! until they crossed blades of mental metal with Plato’s master, and Xenophon’s, also..as in when – humbly – Socrates would initiate a discussion, saying (essentially), “I know nothing; and my heart’s desire is to know truth..so please help me out by sharing with me whatever it is you know..spare nothing!” And after listening carefully to the pitch, Socrates would then ask, reflectively, an orderly series of questions, –interrogatives, leading to the tragic fall, or denouement of the self-elevated master teacher before him, in all his nakedness before the gods and men..trashing the new thing; the plain fact of the matter being they knew less than the man who claimed to know absolutely nothing.
So it is, in every great lie there is an element of truth, which, upon a closer look, answers the description of smoke, concealing an underlying nature of falsehood, and deceit. The wind of a sigh from Socrates dispelled all of that. My old pal Narcissus couldn’t see the smoke for the smoke..smoke, smoke on the water, as it were..smoke for the trees; but, –and, I’d yet be there! my own darn self, there, in that self-same boat, the self-love love boat with old Mr. ‘N’..el Espejo! as any one can..can-can! can see (..) when each, too enthralled with his personal junk to notice a fellow passenger sinking beneath..tides of the eternal; and we, along with! is swallowed in her frothy maw, going down, to a bad end indeed no doubt..un-dead, yet not alive! We can easily sink together, in ignorance, and complacency; or together we be free..to seek the will, not of ourselves, but of G-d, –and can, together, rise in glory, –Yes we can! Glory to God! And! as God is no respecter of persons, so we are called to be His Truth bearers, not preferring any one over another; and with Christ..a lamp unto my feet.
It’s all a poem, in the end, in God’s book, it’s all a poem, written on our lives, our persons..we are like, paintings walking, sculptures burning, –the beans! (or whatever). So the question we must ask at first sight is, Are you a good poem..or a bad poem?
Perhaps I might have asked a blessing at the outset! or, was this yet another case of the poetic impulse being a prayer of itself? (deep calling to deep); if not, then bring forth the broom, that we may burn it, and sweep ‘way the ashes..to the glory of G-d, –of God (Whoever)