A handful of writers in search of the impossible

For Plato it was the search for the ultimate truth, but there are also those who consider it as the science of being qua being, the search for the first cause of things or the investigation of the real qua real. There is no definitive answer to the questions posed by metaphysics. Each of us must decide what to believe about the nature of reality. Metaphysic is a vast and diverse field that offers the chance to explore deep and complex themes. The corresponding genre of writers explores existence, the nature of reality, the relationship between mind and body, the meaning of life and death. Their works present complex images and metaphors, which can be interpreted in different ways. Poetic metaphysics, characterized by a mixture of passions and thought in which emotions are expressed with reason, is a genre of poetry that developed in 17th-century English literature. Using figurative language and bold similes, the metaphysical poets of the time dealt with philosophical, religious, and love issues.

We asked an artificial intelligence to write us a poem about love; we were surprised by the presence of the identical ingredients used by the metaphysical poets of the 17th century: reasoning, mixture of passions and emotions. WITHOUT A SOLUTION – Love is an equation that has no solution, a problem that defies all reason, a force that moves heaven and earth, a flame that burns in the heart and soul. Don’t try to measure his value, don’t hope to understand his mystery, don’t pretend to dominate his power, don’t fear abandoning yourself to his desire. Love is a sum of infinite terms, a harmony of opposites and likes, a light that illuminates the darkness, a life that transcends mortality.

Among the first metaphysical writers, we remember the English poet John Donne, known for his love and religious poems, which explore mystical union with God and the eternity of love. DEATH BE NOT PROUD – Death, be not proud, though some have called thee, mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; for those whom thou think’s thou dost overthrow die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, and soonest our best men with thee do go, rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, and dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, and poppy or charms can make us sleep as well and better than thy stroke; why swell’s thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally and death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

George Herbert, on the other hand, also an English poet, was known for his religious poems which explored the relationship between man and God. One of his best-known poems is Love, which describes the encounter with divine love, personified as a kind and generous guest who invites you to sit at the table and eat. LOVE – Love welcomed me. But my soul withdrew guilty of dust and sin. But keen-eyed Love, watching me recoil from my first entrance, approached me, sweetly asking if I was missing anything. A guest, I replied, worthy of being here. Love said, you will be him. Am I the rude, ungrateful one? Ah my dear, I can’t look at you. Love took my hand, and smilingly replied, who made the eyes if not me? Truth Lord, but I have ruined them: let my shame go where it deserves. And do you not know, says Love, who bore the blame? My dear, then I will serve. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my food. So, I sat down and ate.

We want to remember Richard Crashaw, another English poet known for his religious poems which expressed a love passionate about God. Among his most beautiful and famous poems, “Wishes to his (supposed) Mistress”, where the author expresses his desire for a pure and spiritual love that transcends the flesh and the world. BEST WISHES TO HIS (SUPPOSED) LOVER – Whatever it may be, the not impossible one who will command my heart and me. She wherever she lies, closed from mortal eyes in the shadowy leaves of destiny. Until that birth matures, of studied fate presents itself, and it teaches its beautiful steps to our land. Until that divine idea takes a sanctuary of crystalline flesh, through which to shine.

Among contemporary metaphysical writers, Jorge Luis Borges has gained recognition for his fantastic and metaphysical works, which explore reality, time and identity. We offer you one of his most poignant poems: IT’S LOVE – It’s love. I’ll have to hide or run. The walls of his prisons grow, as in an atrocious nightmare. The beautiful mask has changed, but as always it is the only one. What purpose will my talismans serve me: the exercise of letters, vague erudition, the galleries of the library, common things, habits, the timeless night, the taste of sleep? Being with you or not being with you is the measure of my time. It is, I know, love: the anxiety and relief of hearing your voice, the waiting and the memory, the horror of living in the next time. It is love with its mythologies, with its little useless magic. There is a street corner where I dare not pass. A woman’s name reports me. A woman hurts all over my body.

The Irish playwright and writer Samuel Beckett, known for his existentialist works, preferred to explore anguish, loneliness and meaninglessness. We asked the artificial intelligence to write a poem inspired by him; its title is I DON’T KNOW – I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m alive or dead. I don’t know if I’m here or elsewhere. I don’t know if I’m alone or in company. I don’t know if it’s me or someone else. I don’t know. I don’t know if there is a meaning or a coincidence. I don’t know if there is a God or nothing. I don’t know if there is a good or a bad thing. I don’t know if there is a light or a shadow. I don’t know. I don’t know if there is a time or an eternity. I don’t know if there is a beginning or an end. I don’t know if there is love or hate. I don’t know if there is peace or war. I don’t know. I don’t know if there is a word or silence. I don’t know if there is a voice or a noise. I don’t know if there is music or disorder. I don’t know if there is a poem or a void.

Gabriel García Márquez carried out a careful reconnaissance around reality, memory and history. His poetry, less known than his fiction, is also rich in images and suggestions, ranging from themes such as love, time and memory. Here is one of his most beautiful poems: KEEP WHO YOU LOVE CLOSE TO YOU – Keep those you love close to you, tell them how much you need them, love them and treat them well, find time to tell them I’m sorry, forgive me, please, thank you and all the words of love you know.

With writings characterized by an extreme variety of forms and genres, ranging from stories to fairy tales, from novels to investigations, from essays to poems, Italo Calvino explored the nature of reality, the relationship between man and the world, the meaning of life and that of death. Among his most famous poems we can mention “Nighttime, two knights”, a piece written in free verse, with a colloquial and ironic tone that mixes realistic and fantastic elements. NIGHTTIME, TWO KNIGHTS – Two knights stopped me one night on a country road, riding two black horses, caparisoned in iron. They asked me where I was going, and I replied that I was going to my house, which was nearby. They asked me if I knew the story of that street, and I said no. Then they told me that that road had been the scene of a great battle between two rival armies, and that they had been two of the protagonists. They told me their names, which were famous, but which I don’t remember. They told me that they had been friends, and then enemies, and then friends again, and then enemies again, and so on, depending on the alliances and ruptures that had occurred over the years. They told me that they had fought against each other in that battle, and that they had killed each other, piercing each other with spears. They told me that they had been wandering that road ever since, without peace or rest, because they did not know whether they were alive or dead, nor whether they were friends or enemies. They asked me if I knew the answer, and I said no. Then they greeted me and continued their journey, riding their black horses, caparisoned with iron.

With books characterized by great intelligence, a lively imagination and constant attention to literary form, Umberto Eco contributed to making Italian culture known to the world. His poetry, less known than his fiction, is also rich in images and suggestions, ranging from themes such as love, death, time, destiny, memory, literature. Among his most famous poems, we remember one: LETTER TO MY SON – Dear Stefano, Christmas is approaching and soon the shops center will be crowded with very excited fathers who will play the comedy of annual generosity themselves, who have awaited with hypocritical joy that moment in which they will be able to buy for themselves, smuggling them for their children, their favorite trains, puppet theaters, arrow shooting galleries and Homemade ping pong. I’ll see, because this year it’s not my turn yet, you’re too small, and I don’t enjoy Montessori toys that much, perhaps because I don’t enjoy putting them in my mouth, even if the warning tells me that they don’t they will go down on me. No, I have to wait: two, three, maybe four years.

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, known for his magical novels that investigate love, loss, loneliness and the search for meaning in life. His evocative poetry, written in free verse and with an ironic tone, ranges from love, to time and memory. Here’s one: WHEN YOUR HEART IS CLOSED – When your heart is closed you sit on the edge of the world, I’m in a crater that no longer exists. Words without letters stopped in the shadow of the door. The moon shines on a sleeping lizard, little fish rains from the sky. Outside the window there are soldiers preparing to die. Kafka sits in a chair near the shore, thinking about the pendulum that moves the world, it seems. When your heart is closed, the shadow of the immobile Sphinx becomes a knife that pierces your dreams. The drowning girl’s fingers search for the entrance stone and more. Lifting the hem of her blue dress, she looks at Kafka on the shore.

If you want to know writers, you can type, while for poets around the world The sole purpose of this site is to spread the knowledge of these artists and that other people enjoy their works. The property of the images that appear in this blog correspond to their authors.


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