Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poetry v. Essay

Throughout this semester, we have explored many different philosophers, poets and ideas.  On thing that I still explore in my mind is the idea that philosophy can be expressed through poetry or through essay style.  This interest me because I believe that the two styles give off two totally different approaches to ideas that are trying to be expressed.  An an example of this would be works done by Emerson and works done by Ponge.  Although Ponge is described as a poet with essayist style, how he describes natural objects is so different to how Emerson does in his essay Nature.  It could be argued that their writing styles have effect on why their similar topics come off in such a different manner.  
Looking at Ponge’s work in The Nature of Things, he described common things and avoids applying to emotion and symbols when writing about those objects.  Instead, Ponge creates a world of experiences from everyday objects.  An example being in The Orange as he writes “While the peel alone limply regains its original form, thanks to its elasticity, and refreshment, to be sure---but often a bitter awareness too of a premature expulsion of seed.” (pg. 20).  This quote provides an example of the simplicity of work when written in a poetic structure. 
Emerson, on the other hand, is not afraid to apply emotion and symbols to his work.  As a matter of fact most of his work is very metaphorical.  In his essays, his style is to present a questions that he will to lay out through out the entire poem.  In the essay Nature, the statement he is laying out is argue through the essay is “nature is a metaphor of the human mind.” (Language).  So it is clear that these two writes have very different approaches to similar topics revolving around the theme nature.  But as readers, how are we suppose to interpret the different approaches philosophical ideas in poetry and essays?  Are we suppose to just know that in essay style works we will find emotional and metaphorical writings that allow us to draw our own conclusion and that in poetry style works there will be less guided emotion and more realistic descriptions? 

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