This is a short week because there are only three pages to cover (though last week I thought the listed pages were a typo so I didn't read all the way up to the last three pages, if that makes sense -- my husband is getting me a cup of coffee now and I guess I need it!)
Mystie suggested that we could just talk about something we wanted to, or skip this week, or alternately, list some books that we wanted to read as a result of reading Poetic Knowledge. It's a good week to have a light load because my husband and the older kids just arrived home last night at midnight and today we are celebrating Aidan's birthday!
So I thought I would first list some posts from my old blog that referenced Poetic Knowledge.
About a quote from the book:
"Enthusiasm is an emotion of the ethical part of the soul."
Particularity and Philosophy of Literature
A list of quotes from different authors. what they say about literature reminds me of what John Senior says in the transcript in our Poetic Knowledge reading for today:
St Thomas says.... you must always in abstract knowledge advert to the singular, about which there is no science. There is no science of the singular.... For example, the concept of God is not God. IT's a way, a sign, an instrument by which we can come to know God -- but God Himself is not the concept. What philosophy rests on that distinction!
Then Dr Quinn says:
Mr Senior is using the example of God, but it is true of a horse, a fly, or a flea, which is another example that St Thomas uses. That is, we must always advert to the singular in any realm of thought.Trust and the Knowledge of the Heart
About how Cardinal Newman warned us not to be skeptical of the foundations upon which our mental processes work. ... also about unschooling and "trusting your children to learn." Newman didn't write the parts about unschooling, I did, just in case that still sounded like pre-coffee blur.
Quotes from Taylor and CS Lewis and also thoughts on why the idea of narration sometimes bothers me. (I think I realized that it could get very mechanical and checklist-y, even though I don't think it worked that way in Charlotte Mason inspired schools.
But after reading the IHP's idea of "conversation" I realize why our reading always goes better when we discuss rather than narrate in the way I've always thought narrating "should" go. No doubt I have a false idea of narration! Of course, our Morning Time conversations are different from the IHP because we are all learners. However, it's surprising how many times an 8 year old will come out with something very thought-provoking about a reading. I suppose it is because young children haven't learned "how to think" about a given theme or story, so their insights are directly connected either to their own direct experience or to other books. Whereas I as an English literature major have learned how to sort of drain the nectar from a literary work in a very efficient fashion, which sometimes actually doesn't well serve getting the full poetic experience from a literary work. Reading things with my kids allows me to go back to the earlier days when I read things because they were loveable.
In relation to that, John Senior says that emotions are a form of knowledge. We don't love or fear or hate in a vacuum. Aquinas talks about how a sheep fears a wolf not because of its rough appearance but because of a certain form of cognition that tells it that the object it perceives, the wolf, is to be feared and hated. And for humans our emotions are actually part of our intellectual nature, so we can love or fear things we don't actually perceive with our senses. It only takes a child a few years of life before he starts fearing dark closets or the space under the bed at night, even if he has never watched Poltergeist (which hopefully, he hasn't). Chesterton says famously:
The End of Education -- this is a recent post from this blog.... a poem by John Senior, and some links.
The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
Finally -- books I put in my queue as a result of studying Poetic Knowledge? It just so happens that I went digging in my closet yesterday even before reading the discussion question.
Books to Read This Summer
The Republic by Plato (I thought maybe I could finally tackle it while I'm motivated -- funny how you feel intimidated about reading a Great Book even though as CS Lewis says it's probably easier to read than most modern scholarly books).
Education at the Crossroads by Jacques Maritain
Feeling and Healing Your Emotions by Conrad Baars, who was mentioned in earlier chapters of PK.
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor
I recently ordered The Death of Christian Culture by John Senior -- you can find it relatively inexpensively used at Abebooks, and I think there's also a Kindle edition.
Also, I'd like to reread a Charlotte Mason book in light of what I've learned from studying Poetic Knowledge. I'm not sure which one yet.
Since these are all books "about" something I think I ought to read some Shakespeare, especially since Clar has plans for us to watch some movie versions of Shakespeare this summer, and I think I have committed to reading War and Peace this summer, too. That looks like a lot of books, but I've been reading a lot lately! However, it may take me through till next year.