Existentialism"Existence precedes essence" (a phrase coined by twentieth century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre) is perhaps the best way to describe existentialism. Although there are several different forms of existentialism, the one thing they all have in common is their belief that there is no ultimate truth or that there is but humans can never fully grasp it--the former view being much more popular today. Perhaps the best book to read for understanding existentialism is Sartre's magnum opus, Being and Nothingness. Yet existentialism is far more extensive than just one book. To fully understand the philosophy it must be deconstructed and then put back together.Existentialism9 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Existentialism can be seen partially as a reaction to the ideas of Hegel and Nietzsche—the latter being a kind of proto-existentialist. Modern existentialism can trace its roots back to Kiekegaard and Sartre. The philosophy can be said to be a successor of phenomenology, the philosophy, which states that being is the underlying reali
A Philosophy of Hell...."The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.A Philosophy of Hell....11 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a me
TreesTrees4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The secret life
of elm and oak
and thin white poplars -
on a winter night,
grazing the moon
like tapers in December.
I smell earth -
peat and cedar
and the indulgent bulge
crafting the air
like a smith
lost in his work.
Chestnuts bear an offering
and the yearning pall
of pine scents the sky
till it's thick with resin.
And they gather
with boughs and limbs
bent like priests at play,
roots tight as ancient drums
to ruminate on stories,
sinewed in fragrant bark
making merry where
the green bends back
This Is Not A Love SongA boy sits on a trampoline in July,This Is Not A Love Song7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and tells a girl who isn't his girlfriend that he loves her.
She rebuffs him, and he goes home,
and tell his girlfriend that he loves her.
They have sex,
and it is cold hearted and empty.
Later on that week,
a girl tells a boy she just wants to be loved,
just wants to be loved, by anyone at all,
and he fucks her,
and his brother tries to get her put in prison.
She never meant it, never meant for that to happen at all.
Somewhere in an apartment above the room where she sits,
a boy is watching a woman roll up her stockings.
He is overwhelmed with desire for her,
and cannot move, or speak, and she looks at him.
And she knows his mind.
And in a dark suburban house on the same night
that the woman takes the boy and shows him life,
a girl is looking out of the window of the smallest bedroom.
She is crying, softly, softly,
never making a sound,
and there are letters in her hand.
She is making her choice.
And five hundred miles away,
a love poem.love liesa love poem.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in your fingertips;
a breath, a pause,
a search for
the color of the sky,
the feel of silence,
the shades of your voice.
in these moments,
'i love you'
is no longer enough;
i mean to say:
i love you always,
i love you most,
home is where
the feel of your hand in mine.
twenty.You will never be a teenage mothertwenty.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
or a teenage prodigy.
No teenage kicks excusing drunken antics;
you are no longer a teenage dirtbag.
You will never break world records now
or have a distinguished academic career.
You will never be head girl
or swing your schoolbag hand to hand on sticky summer days.
You will never again be innocent
you have nothing left to learn
and you feel you know so little.
You don't have the excuse of youth
nor the wisdom of age
to keep you safe from prying eyes
and mocking tongues.
You will never know young love again
or suffer for sneaking out on schoolnights
and you will never sneak in underage
or stand outside defeated.
You will never again be 'far too young',
yet still too old to dream,
and never again will you be forced from the room
for the grownups to talk and you to idle.
No, you will never again be young:
now that you have learned to be young
you find yourself at sea; old.
SanctuaryHer sanctuary is a treehouseSanctuary4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Down in the hallowed hollow
She dances with ghosts and dreams of things
Of paths that she might follow
The old songs play, the dolls watch quietly
She sings along and schemes
Of ways to turn back the clock and restart
With straighter, better-sewn seams
Three men on her mind, one now gone
One with her, one all alone
She wonders which one will be there
When life comes down to the bone
Sing, Joanie sing, sing out loud
Dance with your ghost and smile
One day the man from the faerytale
Will bring down the moon for a while
Mood SwingsMy heads pounding,Mood Swings3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
not with pain,
but with pressure.
Is this better than pain?
My legs are shaking,
not with fear,
but with anger.
Maybe it's just the same?
My muscles are twitching.
My heads going to explode.
Thought that cut deeper than veins
I can't contain it.
I'm going to break.
Please don't let me implode
And now im okay.
Girl, Reincarnated.Perhaps in a past life you were made of ink,Girl, Reincarnated.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
your eyes speckled like blotting paper,
complexion smooth as parchment.
And maybe your voice was storm cloud rolling
because I see your words
and they fill my heart with rain,
not the heavy kind that revels
in punching holes in butterfly wings but rather
the mist that paints the dew and
leaves the sky beautifully grey.
At the very least your soul was a mourning dove,
as there's a lilting sorrow in your words
that the air carries like a melody,
were I to speak them aloud
I would sing, hoping that my voice wouldn't shake
with your weeping.
motionthis is an essaymotion3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the shared body;
a brief emission;
some kind of fragrance,
or gathering. this is
moulded into the shape of
ice cannot be sustained
and every angel
has ash in her pocket.
i have often wondered,
do dead men
refuse to speak
ill of the living?
time. time. time.
we follow the sun
snaking across the horizon.
if you put your ear
to my mouth, you might
hear the sound of the sea -
- because within the night
there are horses, and
within the horses there is
a lonely star.
dreaming.she dreamsdreaming.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that come freely,
poetry childrenmothers, if they knewpoetry children8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
wouldn't want poetry children
born far away,
the blood already calm and running
the eyes open the heart opens the hands open
and all of a sudden
everything is frighteningly open
yet a poet child
harbored from streets and winter
the first wail is protection
from openness; no mother
would refuse offspring closure,
or pluck tiny lips from her breast
(clever obscurity for
a few more years
from crayon-bred verse
and mascara dribbled
into lacy black stanzas)
if I were a mother,
I wonder, would I
peel forth such
strange fruit, so that
there is not even a shadow of the tree
ersatzyour wake is the warmersatz4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
languid whorl of a sachet-latté
gone when six a.m. rain swirls
pavement scents of whiskeysmoke
& a careless caress away
under cinnamon-sugar grace --
and it was only ever this:
you were lovely
by trembled halflight, when you almost had
my summer-boy's eyes.
Lost and FoundCreaking toes scatter built up yearsLost and Found4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into piles of questions, "Why?"
Sins and snaps cease in creases and manifolds
of grayish matters not.
And we die.
I wonder if you wonder why,
the wonder died.
We're still alive.
Barefoot masquerade, unveiled,
just in time.
AdirondacksAt the ledgeAdirondacks4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
where the world ended,
I hid behind a fence
of one-eyed susans,
watching the mountains turn
until they became sky.
70 plastic spoons..70 plastic spoons.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
You took me to the cinema so I didn't have to talk about what was wrong,
taught me to open sweet packets from the bottom so they didn't rip,
didn't laugh when I bought 70 plastic spoons just to eat ice cream,
showed me how to embrace new horizons and to pack light,
got me lost in a ghetto in Dundee, and a non-existent castle in Kirkaldy,
tied a suitcase to a skateboard and made me laugh until I cried,
and never once told me to shut up.
One FateShe steps softly in the spring time,One Fate4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
trying to avoid landmines till fall.
She tells me she's afraid of dying,
but I know clocks scare her more.
That tick tock sound feels like a countdown,
to major cardiovascular event.
She calls herself a time bomb.
Her tears fall to my skin.
When all I can do is try and comfort,
maybe push her to walk
another mile or two.
I remind her to take the medicine,
determined to see it through.
Never have I put much faith in god
and even less in Man.
I have no faith in her willingness to fight.
I know the answers don’t lie within.
So I turn to her with much optimism,
reminding her, this is not the end.
For we will know only one fate in this life
and this is simply not it.
baby drilledif the sun stillbaby drilled5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
shines then the
we've been repeating
what the rain said
spray the earth's
into the bay
let them make
in the riverbed
with one hand
what the other
the night in
ConjunctivitisThere's no time to keep timeConjunctivitis4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when holding hands with a clock;
nothing to see but fingers
as I'm constantly pulling at my eyelashes
in hopes that I'll be able unearth yesterday
from the centre of my
d i l a t e d
like the past is a piece of dirt
easily washed away if you're willing
1am, 2 fire engines.I will tell you what you will take1am, 2 fire engines.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when there is a fire.
You will take nothing.
No. I'm right.
You will take nothing.
You will discuss this question over and
on wine fuelled nights.
And then when you hear that scream, in the dark,
in the night,
It's a real fire! Run!
You will panic,
and you will run,
and you won't take anything at all.
JuneJune came clothed in the rutted rindJune3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Of cigarettes put out on skin.
Could do nothing to narrow
I could not hang my skin
Out on the clothesline
Next to your face
And emerge unscathed.
Occupational HazardEvery time I'm at the doctor's,Occupational Hazard4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It reminds me of the principal's office.
Only this time I'm nervous.
It's time for the hearing test,
And she just looks appalled.
She talks louder,
Talks down to me.
I can hear her just fine.
I'm just not listening.
Something about headphone-induced deafness.
I tell her it's a danger of my trade,
Because louder music's just so much more inspirational.
Just another occupational hazard.
"If you're a writer and your heart's not bleeding,
You're doing something wrong," I tell her.
She does not look reassured.
"Philistine," I cough.
Tentative she asks me to go on.
Head trauma from headboards,
She stops me there.
Blood work to run,
She asks if I've eaten today.
"Does Red Bull count as food?"
She told me she'd be right back.
I never saw that girl again.
postscriptI used to dangle a dragon 'round my neck, whenever I crawled into day.postscript4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
St. Michael lives there now;
he doesn't leave much room for wyrms.
one. And I've spent so long in kneeling that
I've grown accustomed to the taste
of hardwood; it's like airlines, the smell is intrinsic
it's frankincense and citrus, I think. Flowers in our fingers,
smoke that spirals in our nostrils clogs
my throat, eyes watering,
some days it's hard to breathe. mea culpa
mea maxima culpa
two. It's funny. Knives slit skin like razors.
Like flails: in a crack-and-rattle-bones sort of way;
so I was rain-soaked when you gripped my rosary. I understood
on that day how it is when I can't love
not like I wanted, wet brick on my cheek means I didn't understand. In Michigan,
that's when it changed. You learned loss,
and I learned lonely. And I
three. and I learned something there.
While our conversation is stifled, I think
your tears were too war