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Paul Hartal Montreal / Canada, Male, 81
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  • POEM: Oranges And Grapes by Paul Hartal (7/23/2016 2:10:00 PM)

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Regarding A. Madhavan's critique:

    1. The words 'ruthless' and 'relentless' are listed as rhymes in The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary.

    2. And more importantly, I believe that the heart of poetry is the poetry of the heart. Therefore, for my part, being 'sentimental' is not necessarily a bad thing. And showing emotions is human. We come to this world through love, and without love life is meaningless. I view kindness and compassion among our greatest virtues. They hold the keys to human salvation. Alienation from Man, crusty insensitivity represent a grave danger to human survival. Indurated callousness feeds the shadow, the dark side of life affiliated with cruelty, violence and war.

    3. Poetry thrives on imagination. Those who spurn it- like Plato, who wanted to ban poets from his Republic- have their answer in Einstein: I'm enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world (Interview with Albert Einstein by George S. Viereck, published in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, October 26,1929) .

    4. We live in a mathematical universe, which involves codes and emblems.The brain processes the information encoded in the world by means of symbols. Human communication proceeds through metaphors. This is not a pathetic fallacy but a scientific fact.

    5. Furthermore, although a poet has a passport to travel through kingdoms of other worlds, I don't think that saying that Life spins our fate like roulette in a film set, invokes the 'supernatural'. Mind you, the actual world is bigger than us. The credo that humans can exercise complete control over their life does not hold water. Rather, it seems to reflect a measure of naive detachment from reality.

    Paul Hartal

  • POEM: Punic Tragedy, Roman Genocide by Paul Hartal (7/23/2016 11:14:00 AM)

    Thank you for your comment, Tom. I view this opus as a narrative verse. Although the genre is associated with ballads and idylls, among them with such classic epics as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, or Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, narrative poems neither have to rhyme, nor have they follow rhythmic pattern. They tell a story, which can be long or short.

    Paul Hartal

  • POEM: Has Any Truth Been Discovered? by Paul Hartal (8/15/2015 6:25:00 PM)

    Thank you for your comment. I agree that the notion of truth is confusing and controversial. At the same time I believe that the value of definition appears to be rather overrated. If one says, for instance, “It’s raining now”, or, “Many tourists visit New York”, we don’t really need explanations to understand the plain meaning of these sentences. Nevertheless, let’s provide a common denotation for truth and define it as correspondence between belief and fact. Thus truth represents the opposite pole of falsity. Throughout history philosophers and scientists have struggled with the problem of what can we know for sure about ourselves and the universe. Unfortunately, truth remains murky and elusive. Even mathematics, the most exact among the sciences, in corresponding contexts fails to pass the test of irrefutable certainty. Bertrand Russell, a great mathematician, envisions “the perfect model of truth in the multiplication table, which is precise and certain and free from all temporal dross”. Yet, in his own playful definition of the Queen of Sciences, he defines mathematics as “the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true”. And the fact remains that in relation to nature the laws of mathematics are saturated with uncertainties. Furthermore, the cardinal concepts of science - such as matter, energy, space and time—represent poetic metaphors in an ultimately unknown reality. Let’s face it. We don’t have definite answers to fundamental existential questions: Is the universe finite or infinite? Who are we? Where do we come from? Are we alone in the cosmos? What is consciousness? Is the universe alive? In”The Problems of Philosophy”, Russell writes: “Has the universe any unity or plan or purpose, or is it a fortuitous concourse of atoms? ’

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