• theUnexaminedMind
    12
    Just recently I heard 'the cookie thief' poem for the first time and it blew my mind. The whole way up until the end I was sympathetic towards the woman but the end made me really question how I think about everything.


    The Cookie Thief - Valerie Cox

    A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

    She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

    So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

    With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

    He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

    She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

    She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

    If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
  • Ying
    295
    There once was a philosopher from Nantucket
    Whose posts were too stupid to cut it
    So he gave a quick glance as he unzipped his pants
    And said if. Baden must ban me he can suck it.

    Sir Hanover
    Hanover

    :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Amazing.

    :rofl:
  • Amity
    1.6k


    There once were some fools from a bucket
    Whose brains told 'em, dearies just fuck it
    So they opened their head
    Found nowt but sliced bread
    They came all the same; please don't dough-t it.

    SOCRATES (469-399 BCE)
    Of smart know-it-alls there's a huge glut,
    But they're dolts when you're down in a rut.
    The one person to see
    If your life's up a tree,
    Is an ignorant pain in the ----.

    WILLIAM OF OCKHAM (1288-1347)
    I sing of the great Ockham’s razor,
    That sharp philosophical laser.
    A theory that’s bloated
    Will fast be demoted,
    And blasted with Captain Bill's phaser.

    FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE (1844-1900)
    “Thank God for eternal recurrence,
    For endings I have an abhurrence.
    I just love Groundhog Day,
    When it’s done, press Replay,
    Thank God for eternal recurrence."

    “God is dead,” said Herr Nietzsche, “He’s toast.
    He’s no more than an axed talk show host.
    Though he sports a white beard,
    And makes Christians afeard,
    He's as dead as an ex-parrot's ghost."

    AND ONE FINAL META-LIMERICK
    That iambic pentameter’s cool,
    Had to learn it in primary school.
    But trimeter’s the best
    When the foot’s anapest:
    In great poetry limericks rule.
    A History of Western Philosophy in 108 Limericks
  • Amity
    1.6k
    the end made me really question how I think about everything.theUnexaminedMind

    For example ?

    If you're reading, read.
    If you're eating, eat.
    Pay attention and never ever
    Judge a book by its cover...
    And if you do
    Don't be too hard on yourself
    Or the other.
    That's life.

    Welcome to TPF, enjoy :cool:
  • theUnexaminedMind
    12
    For example ?Amity

    Well I did indeed find myself sympathetic with the woman of the story all the way until the end. Then when I realized the twist and I had to ask myself why I thought the way I did. I just assume that most people would follow along the same line of thinking and be surprised too, then that lead me to think, if that's just a passive acceptance of stimulus or should I be more forward thinking, or open-minded enough to force out/delay any thoughts of judgement until the very end of any situation or experience. It was just an eye opening moment. Not sure if I described it well.

    And thank you for the welcome. So far, TPF seems great!
  • Hanover
    6.2k
    Just recently I heard 'the cookie thief' poem for the first time and it blew my mind. The whole way up until the end I was sympathetic towards the woman but the end made me really question how I think about everything.theUnexaminedMind

    I actually thought it was an interesting social commentary. The woman perceived the man as a bully for stealing the cookies. The man perceived the woman as a flirt when she was stealing the cookies.
  • Amity
    1.6k
    Well I did indeed find myself sympathetic with the woman of the story all the way until the end.theUnexaminedMind

    Even at the end, she had my sympathies. We can all be guilty of only seeing what we want to see.
    Especially, with nose in her newly bought book - apparently a quick read or she just skimmed.
    On the plane 'she sought her book, which was almost complete'.

    So, an unthinking read using only a small part of her mind which was elsewhere. Stolen. Like the cookies - and again, she was the 'thief'...her physical wants and emotions distracting. Perhaps just like the book itself was intended to be. A brief encounter.

    So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”theUnexaminedMind

    She thinks of herself as the goodie -
    Rabbie Burns springs to mind:
    O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!...'

    Then when I realized the twist and I had to ask myself why I thought the way I did.theUnexaminedMind

    A poem with a twist in the tail - taking us by surprise, can make us look again, perhaps to change our own tale.

    ...if that's just a passive acceptance of stimulus or should I be more forward thinking, or open-minded enough to force out/delay any thoughts of judgement until the very end of any situation or experiencetheUnexaminedMind

    I think if you read it and received the sting, loud and clear, then it wasn't passive.
    Don't we all judge as we go, even if open-minded, and that is why we can appreciate the turn of events.
    When we learn something...about our own perspectives. So as not to assume that there is only one way of looking, thinking or expressing.

    It was just an eye opening moment. Not sure if I described it well.theUnexaminedMind

    The whole raison d'etre of the poem ?
    Thanks for answering my question; describing it well and making me think again... :sparkle:

    Tales of the unexpected... :scream:
  • Amity
    1.6k
    The woman perceived the man as a bully for stealing the cookies. The man perceived the woman as a flirt when she was stealing the cookies.

    Jay
    Hanover

    Another way of looking at it. Didn't see that at all !
    Jay, huh - are you blue ?
  • theUnexaminedMind
    12
    Thanks for answering my question; describing it well and making me think again... :sparkle:Amity

    Thank you for your analysis, you've given me even more to think about with this one. I was mainly digesting it as Jay said too.

    I actually thought it was an interesting social commentary. The woman perceived the man as a bully for stealing the cookies. The man perceived the woman as a flirt when she was stealing the cookies.Hanover

    You guys are insightful!
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.7k
    Card-carrying Nazi Heidegger
    (Whom Hitler had made all aquiver)
    Tried hard to be hailed
    Nazi-Plato, but failed
    Then denied that he tried, with great vigor.
  • Amity
    1.6k


    On Heidegger
    ...Tried hard to be hailed
    Nazi-Plato, but failed
    Then denied that he tried, with great vigor.
    Ciceronianus the White

    :smile:
    Not a fan, then ?
    Like Sam Rickless, here:

    MARTIN HEIDEGGER (1889-1976)
    A phenomenological jerk
    Hated good analytical work.
    He composed Sein und Zeit,
    And liked Nazis all right,
    Firing Jews was a pleasant job perk.
    A History of Western Philosophy in 108 Limericks

    I guess limericks are a relatively easy way to criticise and poke fun of anyone.
    They can raise smiles, eyebrows, applause and emoticons...sometimes curiosity and questions:

    What about this is true ?
    Why hold the negative/positive judgement ? How was the conclusion arrived at ? From where ?
    Is there a counter-limerick out there...
  • Anand-Haqq
    95


    . Meditate over this poem ...

    . This poem is as antique ... as ... earth itself ...

    Dark Night of the Soul

    Once upon a time,

    When time was the time of no time,
    When time was not born,
    When cycles were not known,
    When the knowable was the unknowable,
    When the unknowable was the known,
    When the known and the unkown were one with the unknowable,

    A little boy, a little body, a little Bullah,
    Fragile, like a flower, alone was in his aloneness.
    Under a Tree was he,
    Sitting like a Lotus,
    Being soaked, being drowned by the lunar crystalline rays,
    Into the foggy,
    Into the moteless sky,
    Was he staring heartly intoxicated.

    When tempting voices, descending from the seven Skies,
    And arising from the twenty-eight Hells,
    Moving, through mischievous no-moves,
    Dancing, through an ineffable rhythm,
    Singing, through the song of no-song,
    Mockingly, said to the little Bullah:

    Ó Son of Śuddhodana,
    Where have your Bullah been?
    Now listen, ó incarnate spirit!
    Open your eyes.
    Open your heart.
    And you shall see me.

    The boy did it.

    When eyes were open,
    A vast emptiness enchanted Bullah heart.
    He was not.
    And for the first time,
    He was.

    Marvelously,
    In a drunken state,
    The Bullah, the soul pronounced:

    How boundless is the sky of Samadhi!
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    W.S. Merwin tackles some phenomenology:

    Talking

    Whatever I talk about is yesterday
    by the time I see anything it is gone
    the only way I can see today
    is as yesterday

    I talk with words I remember
    about what has already happened
    what I want to talk about is no longer there
    it is not there

    today I say only what I remember
    even when I am speaking of today

    nobody else remembers what I remember
    not even the same names

    I tell parts of a story
    that once occurred
    and I laugh with surprise at what disappeared
    though I remember it so well

    From Flower and Hand
  • T Clark
    5.4k
    W.S. Merwin tackles some phenomenology:Valentinus

    Are you talking about the Frost poem? I never really knew what that was about. I just like the way it feels in my mouth. The parallelism. The sense that we grow out of the unity of the world. Recently I came across some lines in the Tao Te Ching that reminded me of it strongly. From Derek Lin's translation of Verse 28:

    Know the masculine, hold to the feminine
    Be the watercourse of the world
    Being the watercourse of the world
    The eternal virtue does not depart
    Return to the state of the infant
    Know the white, hold to the black
    Be the standard of the world
    Being the standard of the world
    The eternal virtue does not deviate
    Return to the state of the boundless
    Know the honor, hold to the dishonor
    Be the valley of the world
    Being the valley of the world
    The eternal virtue shall be sufficient
    Return to the state of plain wood
    Plain wood splits, then becomes tools
    The sages utilize them
    And then become leaders
    Thus the greater whole is undivided


    The idea of returning is important in the Tao Te Ching. I'm not sure whether or not he is thinking of it the same way as Lao Tzu. Probably not. But still ...
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    Merwin does recognize what Frost is pointing at. On the other hand, Merwin uses "us" and "we" differently; He expresses certainty about his perceptions and encounters but is unsure about the world unless it can show itself. Like the following:

    Twilight

    Oh you are never tame
    fire on a mountain
    eyes beside water
    first day of petals

    lying across the bed
    in afternoon rainlight
    arms of evening
    wherever we are is a shore.

    - W.S. Merwin, Flower & Hand, page 47

    So it is "Taoist" in recognizing limits of speech but is reluctant to draw conclusions as others do.
  • counterpunch
    1.4k
    A philosopher imagined a donkey,
    stood between two bales of hay,
    would not decide which to fancy,
    until it starved and withered away.

    I decided to test out this theory,
    that when tested did not prove a fact,
    the donkey ate both, and though it may be crass,
    I'm renaming the concept, Buridan's fat ass!
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.7k
    Here's a very philosophical poem, by Wallace Stevens:

    Not Idea About the Thing but the Thing Itself

    At the earliest ending of winter,
    In March, a scrawny cry from outside
    Seemed like a sound in his mind.

    He knew that he heard it,
    A bird's cry at daylight or before,
    In the early March wind.

    The sun was rising at six,
    No longer a battered panache above snow . . .
    It would have been outside.

    It was not from the vast ventriloquism
    Of sleep's faded papier mâché . . .
    The sun was coming from outside.

    That scrawny cry—it was
    A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
    It was part of the colossal sun,

    Surrounded by its choral rings,
    Still far away. It was like
    A new knowledge of reality.
  • T Clark
    5.4k
    Here's a very philosophical poem, by Wallace StevensCiceronianus the White

    I really like that. I've been meaning to read Stevens. I have to be in a special mood to want to read poetry.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.7k


    He's well worth reading. Quite philosophical, I think. A student of George Santayana, for whom he wrote a poem--To an Old Philosopher in Rome. Also a lawyer, who got into a fist fight with Ernest Hemingway in Key West.
  • PoeticUniverse
    863
    ALL THAT LIES BETWEEN

    Energy is a beauty and a brilliance,
    Flashing up in its destructance,
    For everything isn’t here to stay its “best”;
    It’s merely here to die in its sublimeness.

    Like slow fires making their brands, it breeds,
    Yet ever consumes and moves on, as more it feeds,
    Then spreads forth anew, this unpurposed dispersion,
    An inexorable emergence with little reversion,

    Ever becoming of its glorious excursions,
    Bearing the change that patient time restrains,
    While feasting upon the glorious decayed remains
    In its progressive march through losses for gains.

    We have oft described the causeless—
    That which was always never the less,
    As well as the beginnings of our quest,
    And too have detailed in the rarest of glimpses
    The slowing end of all of forever’s chances.

    So now we must now turn our attention keen
    To all of the action that exists in-between—
    All that’s going on and has gone before,
    Out to the furthest reaches, ever-more,

    For everything that ever happens,
    Including life and all our questions,
    Meaning every single event ever gone on,
    Of both the animate and the non,
    Is but from a single theme played upon.

    This then is of the simplest analysis of all,
    For it heeds mainly just one call—
    That of the second law’s dispersion,

    The means for each and every occasion,
    From the closest to the farthest range—
    That which makes anything change.

    These changes range from the simple,
    Such as a bouncing ball resting still,
    Or ice melting that gives up its chill,
    To the more complex, such as digestion,
    Growth, death, and even reproduction.

    There is excessively subtle change as well,
    Such as the formations of opinions tell
    And the creation or rejections of the will,

    And yet all these kinds of changes, of course,
    Still become of one simple, common source,
    Which is the underlying collapse into chaos—
    The destiny of energy’s unmotivated non-purpose.

    All that appears to us to be motive and purpose
    Is in fact ultimately motiveless, without purpose.
    Even aspirations and their achievement’s ways
    Have fed on and come about through the decay.

    The deepest structure of change is but decay,
    Although it’s not the quantity of energy’s say
    That causes decay, but the quality, for it strays.

    Energy that is localized is potent to effect change,
    And in the course of causing change it ranges,
    Spreading and becoming chaotically distributed,
    Losing its quality but never of its quantity rid.

    The key to all this, as we will see,
    Is that it goes though stages wee,
    And so it doesn’t disperse all at once,
    As might one’s paycheck inside of a month.

    This harnessed decay results not only for
    Civilizations but for all the events going fore
    In the world and the universe beyond,

    It accounting for all discernible change
    Of all that ever gets so rearranged,
    For the quality of all this energy kinged
    Declines, the universe unwinding, as a spring.

    Chaos may temporarily recede,
    Quality building up for a need,
    As when cathedrals are built and formed,
    And when symphonies are performed,

    But these are but local deceits
    Born of our own conceits,
    For deeper in the world of kinds
    The spring inescapably unwinds,
    Driving its energy away—
    As All is being driven by decay.

    The quality of energy meant
    Is of its dispersal’s extent.
    When it is totally precipitate,
    It destroys, but when it’s gait
    Is geared through chains of events
    It can produce civilization’s tenants.

    Ultimately, energy naturally,
    Spontaneously, and chaotically
    Disperses, causing change, irreversibly.

    Think of a group of atoms jostling,
    At first as a vigorous motion happening
    In some corner of the atomic crowd;

    They hand on their energy, loud,
    Inducing close neighbors to jostle too,
    And soon the jostling disperses too—
    The irreversible change but the potion
    Of the ‘random’, motiveless motion.

    And such does hot metal cool, as atoms swirl,
    There being so many atoms in the world
    Outside it than in the block metal itself
    That entropy’s statistics average themselves.

    The illusions of purpose lead us to think
    That there are reasons, of some motive link,
    Why one change occurs and not another,

    And even that there are reasons that cover
    Specific changes in locations of energy,
    The energy choosing to go there, intentionally,

    Such as a purpose for a change in structure,
    This being as such as the opening of a flower,
    Yet this should not be confused with energy
    Achieving to be there in that specific bower,

    Since at root, of all the power,
    Even that of the root of the flower,
    That there is the degradation by dispersal,
    This being mostly non reversible and universal.

    The energy is always still spreading thencely,
    Even as some temporarily located density—
    An illusion of specific change
    In some region rearranged,

    But actually it’s just lingering there, discovering,
    Until new opportunities arise for exploring,
    The consequences but of ‘random’ opportunity,
    Beneath which, purpose still vanishes entirely.

    Events are the manifestations
    Of overriding probability’s instantiations—
    Of all of the events of nature, of every sod,
    From the bouncing ball to conceptions of gods,
    Of even free will, evolution, and all ambition,

    For they’re of our simple idea’s elaborations,
    Although for the latter stated there
    And such for that as warfare
    Their intrinsic simplicity
    Is buried more deeply.

    And yet though sometimes concealed away,
    The spring of all creation is just decay,
    The consequence and instruction
    Of the natural tendency to corruption.

    Love or war become as factions
    Through the agency of chemical reactions,
    The actions being the chains of reactions,
    Whether thinking, doing, or rapt in attention,
    For all that happens is of chemical reaction.

    At its most rudimentary bottom,
    Chemical reactions are rearrangements of atoms,
    These being species of molecules
    That with perhaps additions and deletions
    Then go on to constitute another one, by fate,
    Although they sometimes only change shape,

    But too can be consumed and torn apart,
    Either as a whole or in part, so cruel,
    As a source of atoms for another molecule.

    Molecules have neither motive nor purpose to act,
    Neither an inclination to go on to react
    Nor any urge to remain unreacted;
    So then why do reactions occur if unacted?

    Molecules are but loosely structured
    And so they can be easily ruptured,
    For reactions may occur if the process energy norm
    Is degraded into a more dispersed and chaotic form,

    And so as they usually are constantly subject
    To the tendency to lose energy, as the abject
    Jostling carries it away to the surroundations,
    Reactions being misadventure’s transformations,
    It then being that some transient arrangements
    May suddenly be frozen into permanences
    As the energy leaps away to other experiences.

    So, molecules are a stage in which the play goes on,
    But not so fast that the forms cannot seize upon;

    But really, why do molecules have such fragility,
    For if their atoms were as tightly bound as nuclei,
    Then the universe would have died, being frozen,
    Long before the awakening of the forms chosen,

    Or if molecules were as totally free to react
    Every single time they touched a neighbor’s pact
    Then all events would have taken place so rapidly
    And so very crazily and haphazardly

    That the rich attributes of the world we know
    Would not have had the needed time to grow.

    Ah, but it is all of the necessitated restraint,
    For it ever takes time a scene to paint,
    As such as in the unfolding of a leaf,
    The endurations for any stepping feat,

    As of the emergence of consciousness
    And the paused ends of energy’s restlessness:
    It’s of the controlled consequence of collapse
    Rather than one that’s wholly precipitous.

    So now all is known of our heres and nows
    Within this parentheses of the eternal boughs,
    As well as the why and how of it all has come,
    And of our universe’s end, but that others become.

    Out of energy’s dispersion and decay of quality
    Comes the emergence of growth and complexity.

    (The verse lines, being like molecules warmed,
    Continually broke apart and reformed
    About the rhymes which tried to be non intrusions,
    Eventually all flexibly stabilizing to conclusions.)
  • Bhagwan-Awe
    2


    . Have a taste of this ...

    But, and If ...

    The outer sky is the outer sky;
    But, and if it is not the expression of our inner sky?
    But, and if it is not an outer symbol, a direction, an insight leading to our innermost core?

    The clouds are the clouds;
    But, and if it is not a subtle sign from God, whispering about the messy state of our inner sky, filled by thoughts.

    Adam and Eve were expelled of the Kingdom of God;
    But, and if God did it compassionately, with no hatred?
    But, and if God was trying to indicate that innocence and not knowledge is the doorway to truth, to awe, to tao?
    But, and if God was trying to say to Adam:" You shall reborn again, innocently not knowledgeable, to enter into the Kingdom of God."
    But, and if human beings are born as Adam's, fragile flowers, whose winds of knowledge take them away from Heaven to Hell?

    Jesus is God;
    But, and if Jesus is not God.
    But, and if Jesus is just a finger pointing to the moon, pointing to the formless form reality, pointing to the thought of no thought, pointing to the voiceless voice of truth?

    The serpent is the Devil;
    But, and if the Devil and God are just one?
    But, and if Man is God when the cycles of rebirth are finished, and he turns to pure consciousness, just a pure mirror, just a crystal lake reflecting the moon shape?
    But, and if Man is Devil when he is far away from his being, when he thinks that which he is not, when he is just a cloud of thoughts, occluding the sun rays coming from his heart source?

    If is if;
    But, and if if's can be reality?
    But, and if if's are the hidden truth?
    But, and if if's are the hidden truth, trying to waking up that whose dream has become vigil and that whose vigil has become a dream?
  • T Clark
    5.4k


    I didn't like this when I started it, but the rhythm works really well. It made me pay more attention. I thought the "but and if" format was strained and pretentious, but I got into it more and more as the poem went on. It feels like a gentle poem. Dealing with contradictions without jamming our faces into them. Without saying "What about this? What about this?"
  • TheMadFool
    10k
    Everything we know, Everything we think we know
    Retrace our steps, if back to the beginning we go
    Our journey will end
    When we meet the philosopher who set the trend
  • baker
    1.6k
    As I was sitting in my chair,
    I knew the bottom wasn't there,
    Nor legs nor back, but I just sat,
    Ignoring little things like that.


    ― Hughes Mearns
  • T Clark
    5.4k
    As I was sitting in my chair,
    I knew the bottom wasn't there,
    Nor legs nor back, but I just sat,
    Ignoring little things like that.
    baker

    Definitely philosophical. I guess it's Platonic idealism. He sat in the ideal form of the chair, not the chair itself.
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