Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Irresistible Objectivist

My tussle with the work of Ayn Rand has been far from the ordinary intellectual encounter. I am one of those readers who initially finds Ms. Rand's passion contagious but isn't quite as enamored after some retrospection. Ms. Rand's philosophy is like manna to a tempestuous teenager ,who devours each word of 'The Fountainhead' on her sixteenth birthday instead of throwing a 'sweet sixteen' bash. I grew up with the spirit of Howard Roark; his words ringing in my head and his indifference to the establishment dictating every move I made.

Somewhere down the line, I felt the tiniest urge to disagree with Ms. Rand. I couldn't understand the dichotomy of 'to feel or not to feel' expressed by several of her characters. I couldn't quite understand the virtue she associated with selfishness, just as I couldn't understand the virtue of altruism. I didn't find her work particularly 'artistic' but nevertheless, I secretly wished I could be a hardcore objectivist.

Perhaps all the dichotomy was, as philosophers often say, 'within and not without'. Surprisingly, I see Ms. Rand's point with greater clarity now than I ever have before. My readers will find it amusing to know that I started reading 'Atlas Shrugged' soon after I read 'The Brothers Karamazov' (Ms. Rand,although a Russian herself, rejected the mysticism of 19th century Russian authors). I now see that one has the right to 'feel' if one wishes to and that there is nothing 'selfish' in the selfless pursuit of excellence.

The irresistible objectivist wins again!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reverie: An Experiment with Verbosity

I exist in the mellifluous mirage of the mindless,
My movements mime the meaningless
Memoirs of an insignificant life.

I resist the screeching reality of the relentless,
My words rhyme the senseless
Sounds of irresistible strife.

I desist the drudgery of the dreamless,
My singing stirs with heaves of hopeless
Sighs and a reverie running rife.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Words

Words are devious loathsome things,
A poet of veracity will say.
A mouthful of whispered sweet nothings,
Will keep even the chivalrous at bay.

Children and those of great enlightenment
Have no use for such literary device.
Only the callous and those with resentment
Use words to mince virtue with vice.

Where does one seek succor?
From the strain of misplaced wit.
What comfort does hapless stupor
Gain from a lyrical writ?

I write from petrification,
The irremediable affliction of the mind.
Words enchain me without altercation.
In their guile I lie entwined.