Monday, January 28, 2008

The Poet, The Philosopher and The Teacher

It is strange how people have misunderstood the poet to be either a philosopher or a teacher. Whats more even many philosophers and teachers and some poets themselves have nourished this fallacy. Actually, the poet is neither of the two. The reason, as I see it, is that unlike the philosopher or the teacher, the poet is not interested either in knowledge for its own sake or for the purpose of communicating that knowledge. What the poet seems to be interested in is the idea of philosophy for the sake of poetry and didacticism for the sake of poetic effects,rather than the other way round. Both didactisim or knowledge is put to poetic use in at least good poetry, rather than poetry being put to didactic or philosophical use. Same applies for the idea of the poet as a social reformer. The poet is interested in social reform as something that will fuel his poetry. The poet uses, misuses, abuses, knowledge, morality and didacticism for poetic purpose. Does it sound `formalist' position? Well, it cant be helped because poetry primarily is a form . A critical approach can be formalist or informalist, but that doesnt alter poetry as essentially a form.

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