"Kant and Friends at Table" by Emil Doerstling‘Kant’ by Connor Rosemond The Society July 24, 2018 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 20 Comments Out of the crooked timber laid by man, No straight foundation may ever be built. While Reason clinkers on across the span, The tunes of Sin jaunt forward with a lilt. To lie, to steal, to feel in ill no guilt, To follow Peter’s thrice denial there Before the day of blood through treason spilt; That is the nat’ral state of man’s affairs. But Reason also leads us off from err, For through our wit we find morality. Despite the bent of man toward disrepair, We can still choose to live in sanctity. Emotions burked, let this be understood: There is no better aim than to be good. Connor Rosemond is an eighteen-year-old poet from North Carolina. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 20 Responses Amy Foreman July 24, 2018 Well done, Connor! At age 18, you are writing meaty, metaphysical poetry with good form, and I say, “bravo!” I think you could change “to’ard” to “t’ward,” but otherwise, I believe it’s perfect! Reply Connor Rosemond July 24, 2018 I debated long over how to abbreviate “toward”, but ultimately decided that it didn’t matter too much as long as the reader understood my intention. Thank you very much for the compliments; this is my first published poem. Cheers! Reply Beau Lecsi Werd July 24, 2018 What I sometimes do is knock out two letters with an apostrophe, t’ord, as it is perhaps most frequently spoken as one syllable in this era; but Ms. Foreman’s recommendation is the more common. James Sale July 24, 2018 Yes, really enjoyed this poem – a marvellous achievement. It has a freshness and beauty about it. And, to be good? Yes, if only … Reply Connor Rosemond July 24, 2018 Thank you for the compliments! I’m glad to evoked such an emotional response. Reply Joseph Tessitore July 24, 2018 Brilliant! How is it that an eighteen-year-old has an old fool like me looking up words? “burked” indeed! Congratulations on this being your first – I know it won’t be your last! Reply Connor Rosemond July 24, 2018 Thank you for the kind words! Reply William Krusch July 24, 2018 As a fellow young North Carolinian poet (nearly twenty years), I congratulate you on your work. I am pleased to find that there exists another serious young poet of merit in this state, which too often lets its poetic scene get carried away with logorrhea merely reminiscing over cicadas in the humid nights. I digress, however… Any work which takes on a metaphysical topic instantly gains a loftier position in the pantheon of artistic endeavors, for art is but the search for unlocking the secrets of immortality and all that lies beyond our material world. You have done a fine job elucidating the struggle between humanity’s tendency to err through base materialism and the soul’s desiring for a nobler state. However, I am unsure of your word choice in several places, not because of any lack of semantic clarity, but rather your philosophical intent. For instance, “Emotions burked” seems to negate half of the existence of man; perhaps this is the Romantic in me speaking, but I do think that the denial of emotion is not in accord with what is truly Good. Reason leads the soul to a higher outlook from which it can apprehend wisdom; this apprehension leads to a state of ecstatic enrapture where the soul desires nothing more than to be reunited with the One. Ergo, I think treating all emotion as a base impediment to Reason is inaccurate, but I see what you are suggesting – letting emotions dominate Reason leads to logical errors, which prohibit the apprehension of the Truth, therefore disallowing the transpiration of a sublime, ecstatic state of higher Emotion. Also, on a more minor note, I think “wit” has perhaps too much of a whimsical connotation to it to be employed as a precedent to moral philosophy, but that is a mere matter of opinion. After writing this whole spiel, I have remembered that this work is indeed entitled “Kant,” and so I suppose I must restrain my commentary to judging what Kant himself would have said; as for that – well done. Overall, this is a fine sonnet; do continue your artistic pursuits, and congratulations on reading Kant (there are certainly more concise and lucid philosophers to read). One final comment – “burked” makes a fine pun for Edmund Burke, should you find the need to write a sonnet about him at a later time… Reply Connor Rosemond July 24, 2018 Yes: the poem is meant to portray the philosophy of Kant, and not necessarily my own moral philosophy (though there is significant overlap). I would agree, to an extent, with your opinions regarding the shunting of emotion. Thank you for the kind words! Reply Leo Yankevich July 24, 2018 This is pretty darn good, Connor. I’d spell “toward” as “toward,” “natural” as “natural” and not irritate the moden reader, though irritating readers is an art in itself. I have a little poem on Kant, which you may wish to read: http://theformalist.org/ebooks/yankevich.html#V Reply Connor Rosemond July 24, 2018 Thank you, Leo — your poem on Kant is quite good as well! I’ll keep your advice regarding abbreviations to mind. Cheers! Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 24, 2018 Leo Yankevich is correct — the word “toward” today is a natural monosyllable in standard English speech. There’s no need for any apostrophe. My only cavil is your use of “err” in the ninth line as if it were a noun. “To err” is a verb. Reply E. V. July 24, 2018 Excellent, Connor! I loved the poem’s meaning and how you expressed it. It’ll be a treat to see more of your work. Reply C.B. Anderson July 24, 2018 Connor, I thank you for reminding us all, once again, of the categorical imperative. Reply David Gosselin July 25, 2018 Hey Connor, Nice effort my friend. I would definitely recommend you look at Friedrich Schiller, who refuted Kant’s whole approach to morality through what he called an aesthetical education. For Kant, man is essentially treated as a rational animal, but ultimately still an animal with all its irrational passions and desires. What to do? Well, in Kant’s thinking that means we need a good rule book, which we can just consult every time we’re not sure what we should be doing. But the question is, is that true freedom? Is a man who needs to consult a rule book to know how to behave really free? Remember what Saint Paul said, “the power of sin is the laws” – a seldom understood passage. Man is not a rational animal, man is a human being. Schiller makes the point that it is not by training man to follow a set of rules that he becomes free, it’s by taking joy in doing one’s duty, through the development of what he calls the beautiful soul, where man’s natural instincts becomes to do the Good, rather than the formalist fetish of following formulas, no matter how well conceived. It is the same with poetry and creativity. Think of those who attempt to craft their poems in order for all the lines and numbers to tally, vs. one driven by true passion. What difference! The Kantian cannot trust his instincts, and therefore he needs rules. And for that reason, he will never know the true meaning of beauty, or of poetry, or freedom, which springs not from following “rules”, but from its own innate necessity, from the joy of true creativity. It is a subtle point, but the results are unmistakable in writing and demeanour. https://schillerinstitute.org/fidelio_archive/2005/fidv14n01-02-2005SpSu/fidv14n01-02-2005SpSu_080-a_readers_guide_to_schillers_let.pdf Otherwise, here is one on Keats’ battle against the “Enlightment” and Augustan school. I think you’ll appreciate these. https://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_91-96/963_keats.html Best, David Editor http://www.thechainedmuse.com Reply David Watt July 25, 2018 Hello Connor, Your first published poem combines form and beauty. This indicates a bright future for you as a poet. I look forward to reading more of your work. Reply J. Simon Harris July 25, 2018 This is a very well written poem, especially for an eighteen year old. The rhymes are nice, the meter done well, and you deftly handle your subject. I agree with Mr. Yankevich that you should not abbreviate the words “toward” and “natural”… let people pronounce them as they will (and most people pronounce them as you have abbreviated them, not as they are spelled). Otherwise, nicely done! I hope we see more from you in the future. Reply Leo Yankevich July 26, 2018 “But Reason also leads us off from err,” Could be changed to: “However, reason helps us not to err” or more elegantly: “conversely, reason helps us not to err” Reply Paul Gray August 1, 2018 All aims at being good will lead to nout The shadows on the cave wont lead us out; The best of all great aims is “live in doubt” Whilst doubting that same aim, being without Faith or certainty to soothe ones pain Still in such doubt I dare you to remain. Reply Paul Gray August 1, 2018 I worked extremely hard at being good Pulled down prideful erections as I should My better nature’s king I’ve royal blood I now can see the trees But not the wood. 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