Poets and Philosophers: Beyond Rhyme and Meter
Poets thrive on paradoxes, creating them, giving them expression; philosophers also thrive on paradox, but by explaining them away. Poets present things as they are; philosophers explain how things come to be.
O for a Life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!
Letter to Benjamin Bailey
22 November 1817
I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable
reaching after fact & reason.
Letter to his brothers
21 December 1817
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What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the Archangel Gabriel thinks any the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is in one way or other served in much the same way — either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other’s shoulder-blades, and be content. — , Moby-Dick, Chapter 1: Loomings