Books by A.O. Kime
"Metaphysical realities in America's politically-challenged democracy"
"A sagacious accounting of the Stone Age and the beginnings of civilization"
see more books
U.S. colleges and trade schools
A.O. Kime Articles:
Shoofly Village ruins
Stone Age history
Stone Age timelines
Stone Age tools
Dynamics of now
Evil (nature of)
Gift of life
Light (nature of)
Time (nature of)
Curse of science
Int'l Criminal Court
Rule of law
... an original inkwell philosophical analysis
(3rd edition - May 2007) by A.O. Kime
for information on 'renting' this article, see Rent-a-Article
Poetry has been around since before classical times - first appearing around 1000 B.C. - and it is believed poets were the first to make use of the written word. Some of the earliest poetry was apparently composed from older 'war songs' and oral citations. By far the most famous among the earliest poets were Homer and Hesiod who both lived sometime around 800-850 B.C.
Over the centuries, poetry evolved into many different forms and generally each version was specific to a region. Poetry remained very popular until the 20th century but, seemingly because of the distractive nature of the industrial revolution, its popularity began to wane. Poetry has a rich history nonetheless, considering its influence on politics and other aspects of life. However this article is intended to address the type of poetry that emerged in the 17th century.
The poetry of the 17th century is clearly unique because it is of a metaphysical nature. It can often be identified by either its mystical ring, futuristic tone or that it is simply 'deeper'. It is interesting to note that one description of the word 'metaphysical', the dictionary states: "--of or relating to poetry esp. of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional imagery"
Equally interesting, if not more, discovering the existence of metaphysical poetry for the first time, unassisted, outside the classroom, was both phenomenal and a startling experience. Self discovery also has its rewards as evidenced by my following personal account:
"I must say I was astounded when I first read the association between 'metaphysical' and 'poetry' verified in, of all places, a dictionary... as if 'officially' acknowledged. At the time of my discovery, I was writing a short piece on metaphysics and was trying to demonstrate its historical understanding over the centuries. I wanted to see how a modern-day dictionary described metaphysics and I was floored when I read that. You see, from my experience in writing metaphysical poetry in volume over the past eight years, I knew there was a connection to the spirit world but didn't know at the time it was generally acknowledged. I had never studied poetry so that should explain my surprise. Therefore, I suppose, by academic standards I'm no poet, at least not in the traditional sense, nor do I rub elbows with poets. So, why am I writing about poetry then? From my experiences and after doing some research, I am convinced most teachers have no idea what metaphysical poetry is really about... by how they teach it. As if dissecting a frog to explain its anatomy, they forgot to explain the frog. It is obvious to me these teachers never personally experienced the true essence of metaphysical poetry, its spiritual connections, at least not like I have. Their knowledge seems limited to the names of famous poets, the various styles and the history of poetry. I'll explain the magic of metaphysical poetry next, what teachers don't teach." (continued further below)
Three examples of metaphysical poetry (poems having metaphysical overtones):
As Rochefoucauld his maxims drew
From nature, I believe them true.
They argue no corrupted mind
In him; the fault is in mankind.
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thought: a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused.
Underneath this sable herse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Learn'd and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
Perhaps even more impressive is Henry A. Beers' superbly written analysis of Edmond Spenser (1552-1599). In referring to this English poet in his book From Chaucer to Tennyson (1894 edition), Henry Beers wrote "His aerial creations resemble the blossoms of the epiphytic orchids, which have no root in the soil, but draw their nourishment from the moisture of the air.” He then injected this Spenser poem:
Their birth was of the womb of morning dew
and their conception of the glorious prime.
Also of Spenser he wrote… "The four hymns in praise of Love and Beauty, Heavenly love and Heavenly Beauty, are also stately and noble poems, but by reason of their abstractness and the Platonic mysticism which they express, are less generally pleasing than the others mentioned. Allegory and mysticism had no natural affiliation with Spenser's genius. He was a seer of visions, of images full, brilliant, and distinct; and not, like Bunyan, Dante, or Hawthorne, a projector into bodily shapes of ideas, typical and emblematic; the shadows which haunt the conscience and mind.”
As an encyclopedia describes metaphysical poets: "(a) name given to a group of English lyric poets of the 17th cent. The term was first used by Samuel Johnson (1744). The hallmark of their poetry is the metaphysical conceit (a figure of speech that employs unusual and paradoxical images), a reliance on intellectual wit, learned imagery, and subtle argument. Although this method was by no means new, these men infused new life into English poetry by the freshness and originality of their approach. The most important metaphysical poets are John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, Abraham Cowley, Richard Crashaw, and Andrew Marvell. Their work has considerably influenced the poetry of the 20th cent."
Continued (A.O. Kime)
"When I began writing poetry sometime during 1997, although I prefer to call it 'verse', strange things began to happen. At the time and being a family farmer, I was having extreme financial problems and for some reason I sat down and began trying to compose verse (poems). At the time, I was in my mid-50's but had never written poetry before, not a single poem. I think the reason I began to write poetry was largely from frustration and bitterness over the farm economy. At any rate, for another unknown reason, I began trying to compose something intelligible which consisted of exactly the same number of letters per line. Yet, I can't explain why I felt compelled to write poetry in such a manner. It was a difficult process but I began to see unintended messages resulting. I would begin with an idea but in the end, after it was crafted as I described, the message I intended evolved. Perhaps I should say it became 'convoluted' but nonetheless always had much more depth, and invariably, profoundly more meaningful.
Even more bizarre, words were popping into my head from out of the blue, words of which I vaguely knew the meaning of, if at all. These words, I discovered, were not only more apropos... but they 'fit' (had the correct number of letters). I told my sister about that and she smiled and simply said "the muse are talking to you". At the time I knew practically nothing about the muse. After researching Greek mythology in order to find out more, I then began spending all my free time writing poetry in the manner below and wrote quite a few. I also learned that cowboys, when isolated at some remote line-shack, often write poetry and apparently due to their isolation, it is largely metaphysical in nature. However cowboys call this type of poetry 'high-lonesome poetry'.
Since I knew there were various forms of poetry from my earlier research, and knew mine really didn't fit in any category (that I could tell), so to get a 'professional' opinion, I sent a few to the 'poetry department' at the University of Arizona. A few weeks later I got a response that said something to the effect that my poems were 'interesting' and that I was 'exploring the boundaries of possibilities'. In other words, she didn't like them. Perhaps the professor was right, perhaps they are out of bounds as far as being called 'poetry'... perhaps they represent something else. The highly spiritual frame-of-mind which I had at the time may have created an abstract form. Maybe one could call it a visionary form... since it seems all poets are visionaries to some degree, or should be. Whatever type of poetry it might be called, or however accepted, nonetheless the muse contributed greatly... thus the 'magic'."
Continued (A.O. Kime)
"I've found that in order to truly understand and appreciate the message, poetry requires as much concentration reading it as writing it. I didn't understand that at first... before, when I would merely read one in a normal fashion, I never got anything out of it. For decades, I couldn't understand why people liked poetry. To me, it was foolishness that held no value. Well, I finally convinced myself that I must be (somehow) reading poetry wrong because, after all, these were famous poets known for their great works. In other words, the problem therefore must be with my reading method. Presently my method is to first glance over a poem briefly to get an idea what it is about, then I go back and hover over it for awhile, reading it slowly several times to let it sink in (deeply). Using this method, I can discover the real message within the poem which normal reading won't reveal. While poetry is an expression of the soul, some poems may contain coy expressions bent on challenging the reader. The reason for the challenge is to provoke the reader into seeing something they wouldn't ordinarily see."
FIELD OF BROKEN DREAMERS
An ambitious goal, to conquer this world,
who wins the crown of glitter and purled?
Caesar was there with his legion of nine,
each team of Europe then batted one time.
Prussians balk, bets Alexander the Great,
Napoleon's Frenchmen swung at home plate.
German coaching had cost its Third Reich,
the English kings choke for third strike.
Fastball 'n curves for a no-hitter spell,
who bats next, the new debtors from hell?
Via trade we'll win it, team owners said,
but out was America, the team in the red.
As America beanballs its farmers aground,
place her poorly for a third world round!
A.O. Kime (1941- )
REALITIES, LOGIC AND ROPING WIND
Where did you blow to, my yesternight mind,
were you breezed by logic as daily defined?
Like brainstorms reek of emotions I've got,
for logic may rain is a worthwhile thought.
Countless logics our own minds never doubt,
tho never lassoed nor its wind do we mount.
A.O. Kime (1941- )
AN ODE TO MY LITTLE LEAGUE SLUGGERS
With Olympian god majesty, doth players play proud,
in youthful exuberance, bringeth a bat for a crowd.
Hearken this miracle, which may entereth not known,
that the true spirit of man runneth then not alone.
Oracles we asketh, art their metamorphose of thine?
When a quick laughter doth goeth wilt dieth divine?
TO WIT, THE ORACLES SAITH THIS
Sealeth grandeur now, that evil minds shan't alter,
liveth not bereft of wonder or thy oracular falter,
thinkest and speaketh thine truth, always and ever,
findeth first, and let no path hinder thy endeavor.
A.O. Kime (1941- )
MONGOLS FEIGN SUNKEN KUBLAI KHAN SHIP, OR?
I saw the wreckage jutting up from the sea,
a big charred jagged piece, evidence to me.
"Bloody bad wreck", to a mate I did holler,
"more drift to the south of three smaller!"
One was just south, two south by southwest,
the northern was larger by ten of the rest.
I knew it was that of Kublai Khan, not why,
ah, his decoy, said who to my mind, Yen-ti?
A.O. Kime (1941- )
You may freely reprint any of the above works by A.O. Kime (just don't forget to give him credit as the author)
The Latin "poeta nascitur, non fit" translates to "a poet is born, not made"
Voltaire (1694-1778) supposedly once said "It is as impossible to translate poetry as it is to translate music."
Matrix of Mnemosyne... the place of smoke signals from the spirit world
Last modified: 05/01/13