I guess I'm on the wheel of carpitude this morning myself.

Reading Joseph Rykwert, The Dancing Column. about architecture.

He writes that mimesis to the Greeks didn't mean "imitation" as in reflection in a mirror. More like construction on the pattern or in the manner of nature. Aristotle said art (in the widest sense) & nature operate toward goals in the same manner. Poiesis meant "making" in general : architecture, ship-building, poetry.

Maybe the estrangement of poets has something to do with the fact that they are undertaking a constructive project, a fabulative building. It's not rhetorical in essence (designed to sway others, influence others) : it's model-building. In order to stand it has to have an integrity or autonomy or center of gravity, a wholeness. Makes me think of the old (medieval) term for the guilds or craft skills : the skills of the carpenter, etc. were a particular "mystery".

This is odd because language is so outward-oriented, so oriented toward rhetoric & active purpose, toward moving to action. Poetic speech is aimed more at a contemplative telos, like music : music contains all kinds of emotive triggers, but its end is to be a pleasing/moving whole - an end in itself.

Dangerous to the polis because language is so powerful - creating an alternate world-view or whole - the way Shakespeare's "Globe" (the sum of his plays) stood there in sort of ambiguous relation to the actual royals & Macchiavellis he was entertaining.

More from Rykwert : "canon" comes from rule, measure. Leonardo da Vinci provided a kind of quintessence of "canon" in his drawing of a man arms outstretched squaring the circle. It wasn't a new idea at all, but his drawing brought it to a new precision & finesse. The canon of design based on the proportions of the human body as microcosm.

What did Emily Dickinson say about "my purpose[?] is circumference"? wish I could remember the exact wording.

Physiognomy. The globe of "Shakespeare's Head" (building in Providence) making a circuit of cosmos. Epigraph to chapter 2 of Stubborn Grew (from Tempest): "I think he will take this island home in his pocket and give it to his son for an apple"

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