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Thoughts to reflect on: T.S.Eliot

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The Rock

In 1934, T. S. Eliot, arguably the most prominent modernist poet, produced a play – The Rock – characterized by great allegorical, historical, and metaphysical complexity and eclecticism. Some of his most graceful religious poems derived from that text. Matter of fact, the project was part of a fund-raising contest for the collection of money for the construction of forty-five new churches. The interwar years were marked by considerable disillusionment of Christian morality and religious belief in general. The Diocese in London was worried that there is a decrease in worshiping communities in the suburbs and decided to issue an appeal for public funding. T. S. Eliot participated with his play and thus helped for the collection of at least 1,500 pounds, which would be around 107,308.0 pounds in today's currencies.

Later, the Choruses from the Rock were published as part of T. S. Eliot Collected Poems, 1909 – 1962.

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An Interview with the American poet Janet MacFadyen

photo © by Stephen Schmidt


"Being a poet is not a vocation; it's a dedication of one's life to the beauty..." - Janet MacFadyen

Last month, we presented to you some of the beautiful poems written by Janet MacFadyen. Her imagery fascinated our minds and we asked her to do an interview for our audience and share a bit more about her world, inspirations, and challenges. Now, you can enjoy her insightful answers as well as two poetic excerpts from her book Adrift in the House of Rocks.

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The poetry of Janet MacFadyen - where Science meets Art

photo © by Stephen Schmidt

When Science meets Art

Scientific and artistic activities have had a long and incredibly complicated, we could say "love-hate" relationship throughout human history. From time to time, they were promoting and enhancing each other, whereupon an epoch of mutual criticism and condemnation followed. Nowadays, most people imagine Science and Art somehow separately, as two distinct and incompatible essences of the human mind. As though one is dealing with the objective reality and the other with an amalgam of material world and imagination, hence the former have to be superior in reasoning to the latter. Now, that would be the case if we take the presumption that the physical world is somehow dead or could be taken out of the ceaseless motion of the Universe to be examined as an object. However, Nature is alive and in constant interaction with all of its inhabitants. 

We could speculate that the negligence towards the living character of Nature was indeed one of the main reasons we ended up with a climate crisis. Nevertheless, with the emergence of climate and environmental issues, a new vision appeared, or maybe an ancient one manifests once again. There are tendencies among various scientists and artists, in which both perspectives reconcile and bear new forms of perception towards Nature – more like a dialogue instead of research.

Janet MacFadyen – an American poet and scientific researcher – is one of the many who feels the need to change our attitude towards, and concepts of, natural phenomena. She gracefully expresses that feeling. MacFadyen transforms scientific perception into vivid poetic imagery that invokes deep insights into Nature and our connection with it. Her poems transmogrify hills and rocky formations into cities, stones and crystals into ancient teachers, rivers and brooks into the circulatory system of our living and breathing Mother Earth.

Below you can enjoy and reflect upon Janet MacFadyen's statement and meditative poetry!
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Sunday inspiration: Walt Whitman

Image credit: gettyimages.com / Portrait of Walt Whitman by  John W. Alexander


Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 - March 26, 1892) - the father of American free verse

"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."




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