THE SOLIDARITY OF THE CONCORDANCE
The blend of the coalition grows upon itself,
Striving for the dynamic-balance: of light
And dark, Yin and Yang, and wrong and right.
Reality’s not found in separate actions,
But in related events blended in twilight.
The concept of Classicism accentuates
Order and clarity of thought, simplicity,
Restraint, balance, dignity, and
A mistrust of emotion and excess;
However, since it relies on imitation and
The acceptance of objective standards,
It may lack spontaneity and degenerate
Into excessive traditionalism
And empty formalism.
Romanticism embraces an exaltation
Of the feelings, an individualism,
With new modes of imagination,
Of freedom of form, spontaneity,
Self-expression, and subjectivity.
It began, at least in art, music, and literature,
As a revolt against 18th century doctrines
Of restraint, forms and rules, decorum,
Stagnation, and blind tradition;
However, romanticism and classicism
Are now taken as more general terms.
Some exemplars of their contrast are:
Passion as opposed to reason;
The whole against the details;
The Yin facing the Yang;
The right vs. the left side of the brain
“Don’t confuse me with emotion”
Or “don’t confuse me with facts”;
The sails confronting the rudder of the soul.
This epitome may become a battlefield,
Or it may grace a smooth sailing ship.
How easy they are not transformed,
These apparently opposing forces
That may wage war upon the other,
But how tremendous they can be
In the bond of confederacy.
Pure reason, ruling all alone,
Is a force confining and stale;
While passion, unattended,
Is a flame that burns
To its own end.
Poetry is an ideal of the unison:
The right side of the brain
Provides the inspiration;
The left side devises the rhyme.
An utter, absolute classicist
Or romanticist is an extremist!
S/he honors one worthy guest
In the house above the other,
And so loses the love and faith of both.
Witness the average classicist at work,
One who knows little of the humanities,
One who ever works through lunch,
Never having the time to hear of life,
Making every decision by the book
But little from the heart.
Or the total romanticist:
One who can’t even hold a job,
Even taking drugs, and losing all control.
The writing of this page—this analysis—
Is rather a classicist undertaking.
But I do not live by the unbending way
And therefore my songbird
Is never imprisoned within.
Perhaps it chooses to be here, classically,
Or perhaps it will, at any time of day,
Burst forth and enjoy the total feeling.
Nor does a long wild night of lovemaking
Mean that you’ve gone bonkers.
Life is full of spikes of valleys and mountains;
It is only when one can’t merge the two
Or at least make jumps between
That one may need some reflection.
How can there be any sort of resolution
Of a dichotomy in which one side
Expresses itself so logically and
The other in emotions and images?
Well, if either one’s sails or rudder be broken,
One will soon be dead in the water…
Therefore, the discord and rivalry
Of one’s elements must become
Rhythm and sweet melody!
It’s not the same for everyone,
But the knowledge of
The ‘contrast’ itself is the first step…
Therefore, let your blended soul exalt
Your reason to the height of passion,
That it may sing and fly about,
Letting it direct your passion with reason,
That your passion may live and survive
Through its daily death and resurrection, but
In effect ever arising from its own ashes.
Now no one can ever achieve
The ultimate and perfect balance
Between classicism and romanticism,
But for the rare times when in the ‘zone’,
And indeed, this balancing attempt
Itself smacks of classicism!
And so we all have leanings—
And that’s what I mean when I say
My tilt is toward romanticism.
Emotion, slightly favored, rules,
But every so often I do check in
With logic and analytical reason.
Thereby I enjoy the world, mainly,
Because like many of you
I am much impressed by its wonders…
Without perception’s deeper depiction,
One finds little that excites—
Not noticing much, as ever in a hurry,
And seldom having the time…
Two other poor relatives
Of classicism and romanticism
Are substance and surface glory.
The romanticist in me likes the veneer
Of the shiny red car or motorcycle
But the classicist in me would like
To know that the vehicle operates well
And even be able to take it much apart,
For that is the very substance.
When I maintain my car or cycle well,
Shine it up, and then speed off
Into the country sunshine
With the wind on my face,
Then I have the best of both worlds!
Now I really don’t know all the answers—
I just like to tug at the hem of the garment
In which life’s mysterious dualities are clothed.
As ever as in all good marriages,
“The oak tree and the cypress
Grow not in each other’s shadow”.
People involved in the arts may
Like to listen to music while they work
In order to deactivate the left side of the brain
By giving it something innocuous to focus on.
Personally I often dream up many ideas
While listening to music that moves me deeply,
For then the imaginative power
Of the brain’s right hemisphere
Is free and inspired to soar unbounded.
Yes I do lean toward romanticism…
Perhaps it is my nature nurtured
Or perhaps I feel a need to counteract
The overabundance of classicism in the world
Or perhaps because in romanticism there is grandeur,
While in classicism there is but cold logic
And endless analytical thought.
But even with these leanings,
The good romanticists never forgets
That it is classicism that pays the bills
That authorizes the indulgences.
I have some hope that
In any totally classical person,
No matter how stern or dull s/he be,
That one day, somehow, somewhere,
There will come some small measure,
And then the ever-during triumph of jubilation.
Yes, the desire to be orderly and factual
Is a part of the human species,
But there are other yearnings in every person—
The desire to be imaginative and unrestrained in
Expressing personal emotions,
Warmly and freely flowing,
And to take in art, music, literature,
As well as escalate the way one lives a life
From an illuminating flame fed from the self,
A source of lucid experience that
Can usher wisdom and fervency,
As the means to the rounded truth.
Then luckily these may be some of its aspects:
Sentiment, celebration of nature, interest in the past,
A new emphasis on feeling and the senses,
Even actually enjoying melancholy and sadness.
Thence comes love of freedom, mysteries,
Even fascinating figures and heroes,
The allegorical, a delight in whimsy,
The improbable, and the ‘impossible’,
Of legend, folklore, and mythology,
An awe before the immensity of what is—
The Earth as a friend and
The sky as a warm blanket,
And certainly the uniqueness of the self.
The curious blend never lets one down,
Ever keeping one centered, but ranging.
So extroversion entertains at large,
While love’s introversion wins one-on-one.
Intuition and sensing
Can sustain each the other
In a magnificent fusion.
Thinking and feeling combined
Are of an unbeatable synergy,
Of a being coalesced and intermixed.
Sensing the general direction but
Not exactly knowing one’s next move
Is of a spontaneous higher ‘order’.
Here looms the classical planning of
A magnificently grand adventure,
Whether triumphant or of glorious failure
Always of the superb and the sublime.
Merge these ingredients, until smooth,
This loving mix, mingling and combining,
Soon melding into the ‘zone’, well integrated,
Stirred, whisked, and folded,
In and out, the commingling
That leads to the harmony of amalgamation’s union,
The marriage and the synthesis, the very admixture
Of the concoction of life’s ever-during brew.
The parts all sum to the whole flow, so
Life must be more like a mosaic done
Than some focused laser tunnel of sun.
Since few lengthy pleasures are lent to us,
We build a stained-glass window of small ones.
Oh thou soul, dare to live near the edge;
Brave the walk of the line, balancing fun
There between adventure and misfortune—
For the greatest blunder in life is to
Repeatedly fear that you might make one.
Hail! Lord Byron’s Golden Mean extends:
Let us have wine, lovers, song, and laughter—
Water, chastity, prayer the day after.
Such we’ll alternate the rest of our days—
So on the average we’ll make Hereafter!
Wholeness arrives by mixing the suspension:
Classicists drone toward dull perfection,
Romanticists drown in feeling’s affection;
Worse, others alternate between extremes—
It’s not this nor that but a joined direction.
Harmony then rolls along, round and round:
Each holding within it the seed of the other—
Yin reaches climax, then retreats in Yang’s favor,
A cyclic movement of rotational symmetry:
Rounded life is the blend of Yin/Yang together.
The perfect balance may still call upon us:
Edges dissolve when opposites are balanced—
Time and dimensional space are transcended.
Everything joins yet remains as itself,
For what “is not” is as great as what “is”.