“Why” Questions

In his book  Collected Poetry,  Robinson Jeffers wrote, “Mechanistic anti-spritual point of view from medical school, running in harness with a mysticism that seems almost instinctive.”

George Hart in his book Inventing the Language to Tell It, writes,  “The tension between materialism and mysticism, oppositional powers harnessed together to achieve a unitary purpose, is the cardinal indicator of Jeffers’s sacramental poetics….”

Hart later continues, “Jeffers would use the term mysticism carefully, and I use it advisedly, but the experience he describes in his poem “Oh Lovely Rock” fulfills William James four criteria of a mystical state; ineffability, noetic quality, transiency, and passivity.”

Don’t you love sentences that speak to you but you have no idea what they mean?

I could sit here for eons and never  come close to  Jeffers points or William James’ criteria for a mystical state. In fact, I expect to sit here for sometime learning what they said. Once learned, I will return to Jeffers short poem “Oh Lovely Rock” and see if I feel it any differently.

I know this. Some great poetry can bury my enthusiasm to write my own. Jeffers spurs me on. I want to produce in writing a tension that constructs solving actions. Yesterday at breakfast my counselor friends asked me, “Why?”

I am working on it. This week I have had more than my share of why questions. I am working on all of them. How do you do with”why” questions?



13 thoughts on ““Why” Questions

  1. Carole Webber April 12, 2014 / 8:01 am

    I have sent this to my son-in-law, a Jeffers expert. Let us see if he knows “why”

    • fictionfitz April 12, 2014 / 8:10 am

      Don’t forget to dig out his book. Your son-in-law’s. I want to “reread.”

  2. Carole Webber April 12, 2014 / 9:49 am

    Six hour difference in time for Hawaii It may take a some time.
    My response to “why” questions, I either admit I have no answer or I make it up.
    Looking for book

    • fictionfitz April 12, 2014 / 11:59 am

      Thanks to all? You make it up? You mean u are not forty?

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions April 12, 2014 / 7:04 pm

    Sometimes it seems like my entire life has been a why question because I’m very curious as to what makes things (including humanity) tick.
    I understand exactly what the poem is saying or, more accurately, how the person who wrote it felt at the time. John Muir said “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” When you have a “mystical experience” you see that he spoke the truth. “Separateness” is an illusion.

    • fictionfitz April 13, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      When will we learn? Keep those pictures and commentary coming. They have purpose.

  4. vanyieck April 12, 2014 / 7:11 pm

    I’ve always believed that the key to understanding was learning how to ask the right questions.

    • fictionfitz April 13, 2014 / 6:30 am

      Or at the very least, asking them.

      • vanyieck April 13, 2014 / 9:01 am


  5. Carole Webber April 13, 2014 / 8:34 am

    I also learned there is no such thing as a wrong question.

    • fictionfitz April 13, 2014 / 5:18 pm

      How old are you? When will you be home? When are you going to the gym again? Was that your second helping? How much do you weigh? Is that your hair?

  6. Carole Webber April 14, 2014 / 6:57 am

    There are inappropriate questions that require questionable responses

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