Digital Commons@RISD Home > Division of Liberal Arts > Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal Archive) > Vol. 6 (2008)
Toward a Poeticognosis: Re-reading Plato's The Republic via Wallace Stevens' "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven"
This article is a language-based re-reading of Plato's exile of the poets via Wallace Stevens' poem-manifesto, "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven." I examine how philosophy and poetry use language differently in order to deconstruct an origin of the speech-acts -- wonder -- that I then identify as a phenomenological difference between philosophers and poets. I contend that the thinking-into-language of philosophers is based in theoria, comprehension, and a resulting closure of wonder. I contrast this with the processes of poets, who I show to be moving thought into language via gnosis, apprehension, and a phenomenology opening onto inexhaustible wonder.