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The Poets

January 03, 2010

My Self-Summary by Aaron Cole


On the very first day of this very new year, 2010, my neighbor shared a poem he recently wrote. To say the least, I was excited to check it out. To my astonishment, however, I came to find that he intentionally adhered to a chosen metrical foot, tetrameter.

Now I use the word ‘astonishment’ because, from my perspective at any rate, one seldom comes across a contemporary American who chooses measured verse verses free verse- much less a contemporary American who lives right next to you . That the poem had my complete attention goes without saying.

Here’s that poem below:


My Self-Summary

Listen Hear my soliloquy
as I try to Unravel these
false dichotomies existing
tween the outer and inner me
Not bi polar, but bi solar.
I stand in the crux of 2 suns.
One physical, and warms my flesh
And one spiritually guides the mesh
None the less both are part of me
war wages perpetually;
but separately agreed they make
me the man I have come to be.



Of the Poem:

A seemingly tension-ridden dualism runs through the poem that’s extremely obvious:

~false dichotomies
~the outer and inner
~bi solar (i.e. two suns)
~the crux of 2
~physical (flesh)/spiritually
~and latently, division (war wages) and unity (separately agreed)

I stand in the crux of 2 suns.
One physical, and warms my flesh
And one spiritually guides the mesh

These lines, lines 6,7 and 8, are highly reminiscent of Swedenborg’s doctrine of two suns (now as far as I’m aware, Aaron has never read Swedenborg, which makes the relation of the poem above with the quotes below rather interesting):

There are two suns by which all things were created from the Lord, the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the natural world. All things were created from the Lord by the sun of the spiritual world, but not by the sun of the natural world; for the latter is far below the former, and in a middle distance. The spiritual world is above and the natural world beneath it; and the sun of the natural world was created to act as a medium or substitute.

The expanse of the centre of life is called the spiritual world, which subsists from its sun; and the expanse of the centre of nature is called the natural world, which subsists from its sun.

The tension of the dualism that’s apparent throughout the poem culminates in line 10:

war wages perpetually

But immediately thereafter the poet reconciles the tension through a sort of Heideggerian acceptance of the inevitable- which in this case would be the fact that the author must come to terms with the influence of these two seemingly opposing poles. This is apparent in the following lines that conclude the poem:

None the less both are part of me
war wages perpetually;
but separately agreed they make
me the man I have come to be

I’ll comment here as I did to him on Facebook:

“Absolutely astonishing display of poetic prowess, Aaron. No joke. The sheer fact that you chose to adhere to classical meter in the face of popular free verse reveals an authentic aspect that, as Plato would say, is seldom seen amongst men.”

… and I’ll add that not only am I honored that he’d share his work with me, but most especially honored that he’d grace me with the opportunity to post it here.

Thanks, Aaron. Great write.

I'd love to hear what others might think of his work. So please, leave a comment if you will.

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As of April 9th, 2010