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On Poetry and the flow of thought

What differs verse from prose? In verse, we have imprinted in words the momentary flash of thought that chooses to illumine our minds. Admittedly in the process of characterization, in the very act of writing it we are destroying the innate nature of the thought i.e the fleeting and completely porous trajectory that it follows in our mind, veering from tangent to tangent as it traces a course from the middle of something prior to the beginning of the next. In essence, the nature of a thought is its non linearity and it's impermanence, its almost purely sensory information.

To prevent the confusion of the reader, let me add an interlude: 'thought' here does not refer to the conscious collected assimilation of logically organized data that we do while we 'think things over' or 'ponder'. In my text I refer to the thought as being innately sensory in nature. A carrier of a momentary sensation, a perception, an ephemeral glimpse of a truth that in itself will fade out, will never be consolidated into the solid pillars of reason. Yet it's effect will remain in a hint of a change in the vision of the host mind, a subtle variance in the pattern or 'train' followed by the thinker. Whether of a different course than priorly followed, or a re-consolidation of previous traits, the change will be there. And such a train of changes, gentle 'pushes' if you may eventually accumulate and result in a shift of cognition and thus perception.

To come back to prose, it is innately organized i.e it has a context, a premise and an ultimate, however vague, conclusion. This is why as a medium, prose cannot convey the 'map-pattern' of the mental state at a point in time that verse can. Neither should it for both are very different in nature and purpose. Verse on the other hand, can to a limited extent, give some idea as to the state of mind of the thinker. This is because verse is uncalculated, it is random and unorganized. Some of the most powerful examples of it don't even rhyme. (gasp!) Comic interludes aside, true verse is from the mind. And from the mind when it is at its most random, most chaotic and hence most informative. Pure sensation untainted by conclusion or analysis and though sullied by the various prejudices of the observer, is verse. Attempts at prose-verse or intentional verse aimed at creating sensation rather than describing  the effects of it can only be disastrous because the very cause-effect relationship is skewered. Abominations such as 'national anthems' attempting at patriotism and 'happy music' (I consider true music to be verse) thus persist because of this desire to engender thought in the mind rather than register sensation. This leads to disaster because the mind is naturally adapted to only truly accept second hand either information (prose) or sensory input and therein form its own 'mental pattern' per se. An attempt to restrict the flow of thought to a narrow channel is unnatural and hence repulsive in its essence. And of course, against the true spirit of things.


  1. I know. Just got carried away. Wanted a cold and didactic piece just for fun. :p Cheers!


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