imagining a friendly debate at my kitchen table

Aristotle and I
would probably argue at the dinner table
about what constitutes
beauty

beauty he said
is represented in

order
symmetry
definiteness

I differ
all around
and pour us another glass of wine

he sounds a little uptight

beauty I say
is

old more often than new
odd more than even
irregular not regular
free flow over precise
spontaneous rather than meticulous

or at least it seems that way

I say
imperfections are marks
of

strata
history
magic

but you know
there’s been a lot of water under the bridge
since
our guy
philosophized about stuff

I wonder
would he still define
order, symmetry, definiteness
as those things that give
pleasure and satisfaction

today?

maybe

Faded_sundial 

8 Comments

  1. FutureUrban February 17, 2011

    Lovely! A great imagining. And gorgeous photograph of the sundial.

  2. Susan Tiner February 17, 2011

    I like your version! He probably would define it the same way though.

  3. Susannah February 18, 2011

    Thank you for being my moment of beauty today. 🙂
    I loved it! Wonderful writing. x

  4. Jennifer February 18, 2011

    Thank you Alex! I’ve had that image for a long time and always loved it.

  5. Jennifer February 18, 2011

    hehe, me too Susan. And I agree – he’d probably not budge.

  6. Jennifer February 18, 2011

    Aw gee thanks Susannah. It’s just me rambling, taking out half the words and organizing them on the page. My apologies to creative prose writers everywhere!

  7. Selma February 19, 2011

    The sundial is exquisite. When it comes to a discussion of beauty I can’t go past Keats and his Grecian urn and his ‘beauty is truth, truth beauty.’ I think the truth component does relate to Aristotle’s position in a way because order, symmetry and definiteness are components of truth. That would be one whale of a dinner convo wouldn’t it? No one would get a word in!

  8. Jennifer February 22, 2011

    hehe it would be a fun conversation! I think concepts of beauty come from our times – so maybe the participants could never see eye to eye on it, no matter how many glasses of wine!

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