Today being National Poetry Day, I shall give another outing to this effort of mine from January 1993. I posted it once before, but it was on my old blog and more than nine years ago. Philosophy through poetry (of a sort) - that's my contribution to National Poetry Day.
Roaming in thought
[after reading Rorty]
Naughty, naughty Richard Rorty
Thought he'd have some fun with Truth.
He retained, though well past forty,
All the playfulness of youth.
Being so disposed, so sporty,
Bought he, Rorty, language-games.
Wittgenstein (or 'wit' for short) he
Gave amongst his heroes' names.
Witty, ironizing Rorty,
Fought he metaphysics grey.
Joshing gently with the haughty,
He commended Dewey's way;
Dewey who - he too the sort he
(Rorty) wrought a giant from -
Redescribed the true, for taught he
Pragmatism with aplomb.
Richie Rorty, Richie Rorty,
Naught he hadn't read, it seems.
Heidegger and Nietzsche brought he,
Both, to feature in his schemes,
Next to others not so warty:
Caught he Dickens, Proust and Yeats,
Kundera and Orwell. Sought he
To cavort with them as mates.
And intent on mischief, Rorty
Mortified the realists quick.
'Things just as they are?' A quart, he
Ruled, of empty rhetoric.
Such assumption made folks snorty,
Fortified assurance bad
Of foundational support. He
Found the wish for skyhooks sad.
Some said, 'Rorty, should he, ought he
to, make light of solid fact?'
Now they all know his retort: he
Claimed this notion substance lacked.
Others for their part said 'Rorty?!
He does not, in truth, exist.
He's the fiction, a new sortie,
Of one struggling novelist.'
I'll converse with Richard Rorty,
Ask him to come round to tea.
I can then say 'Have some more tea;
and we'll joke semantically.'
He might say though, 'I abhor tea;
Don't you Derrida with me.'
No, he's not that closed or taut; he
Won't. I'll call the guy and see.
Which I did. And he was charming,
As in 'fact' you would expect.
But he had no voice. Alarming.
'Twas the novelist's effect...
In her story, he's a vapour,
Bright and comely; still he's vexed.
But it's written on the paper
– a coherent, useful text –
That he's lost his human glory.
So he's left a bit perplexed.
For her story's not his story
(He is history and not history)
And his being's been annexed.