(Alfred) Joyce Kilmer

Another to add to the intriguing list of intellectuals converting to catholicism. Most famous for his much parodied “Trees”, but an interesting if brief life.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

Picked-up on Kilmer because of this quote of the subsequent couplet …

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast

Used as a metaphor for his “peak oil” (pro-nuclear) musings by the whacky Tony Smith – “banned by Arxiv and Cornell” – another who seems to have developed his own contrarian, but complete physics model,

…. one reason being that I refuse to disavow the mystical origins of my intuitions used in constructing the model.

Amongst which he includes a detailed list of “correspondences” between modern physics and work of the Sufi Islam philosopher ibn Arabi, and links to Vedic and Tao Buddhist origins.

And, the reason I looked at that was because Yunus (over at Friends of Wisdom) responded to the latest poem from Alan Rayner

Imaginative Turn
(c) Alan Rayner 1/1/2010
How tiresome it is
This beast that turns in my grave
Shrieking to unearth
Such fearful foreboding
Of what is to come
From what has been done
In the name of the Rose
That holds itself in
Enshrouded by sepals
To keep all its petals
From falling to ground
Out of sight, far from sound
Stalled in the bud
Distilled in the mud
Defended by prickle
Refusing to tickle
But piercing instead
The heart that yearns
To get out of bed
How exciting it is
This creature that rises with the sun
Singing its heart out
In radiant flower
Bearing fruit into joys to come
From what has been done
Crying, hip, hip hooray!
In the name of the Rose
That gathers all in
As it dies and grows
Loosing its petals
From the confines of sepals
To spread light in sound
Before turning back inward
Whilst falling to ground
Where others come to bear its energy away
Through death and decay
Into life that unfurls
In the opening
That sustains the possibility
Of flowering afresh
Through darkness in light
Breaking out of bounds
In another day

with his own poem (and the above link). Alan, known for his treeworks (in symbiosis with man & fungi) – here a tree emergent from man’s workings in a forest (Ref BBC Photo Comp).

Alan’s trees always remind me of Peter Gabriel’s lines …

The forest fight for sunlight
Takes root in every tree.

Anyway to close out (branch out from) from this linking cycle,

(1) the banning from Arxiv … the general suppression of anti-establishment theories contrary to received wisdom … put me in mind of Brian Josephson‘s campaign against Arxiv censorship and of course the responses to (say) Lere Shakunle, Rick Ryals or Peter Rowlands alternative physics (plural, one each) …. too easy to be branded

“the village crank hanging out by the public library, who believes he’s found the secret of the universe”

But then again

The man with a new idea is a crank until he succeeds …

 (2) and finally back where we came in – intellectual conversion to catholicism ? A long established theme of mine – the inklings etc – came to mind recently, when yet again (check out the archbishop) I found a theologian talking sense, but being branded too catholic by a fellow Christian. Intriguing. I have pre-ordered Hauerwas memoir on the strength of that.

3 thoughts on “(Alfred) Joyce Kilmer”

  1. Splendid stuff. I think you will really appreciate Hauerwas – he’s probably the theologian most strongly influenced by MacIntyre. Happy New Year to you too.

  2. Influenced by MacIntyre …. now I am further intrigued.
    I was just investigating which MacIntyre to pick up next … you and Matt did give me your suggestions a year or two ago.

  3. Pingback: Psybertron Asks

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