Snow is white

Poem by: henryd1

Summary

'Snow is white' is a famous example of a basic factual sentence in the philosophy of language. Here the adjective and the noun are reversed. The point is that the reversal turns prose into poetry: the sentence 'white is the snow' does not represent a fact about the world; it brings a world forth. This difference is mirrored in the contrast between, wise men (philosophers), on the one hand, and poets and children, on the other. The latter are happy, totally absorbed in building their snowman/poem, and in so doing bringing forth a world; men, despite their wisdom, simply watch on, 'representing' a world which they would rather be able to inhabit unreflectively. True wisdom is the ability to do the latter; it is 'other wise'.

Content

Submitted: January 25, 2013

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Content

Submitted: January 25, 2013

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Snow is white

 

Snow is white, tell us wise men.

But this is not how it is for poets;

For them, it is otherwise,

For in their eyes...

 

White is the snow

That in winter, from above, unfurls,

Settling down below,

Underneath the tall green firs,

 

Where children, glove-clad,

Gather and mould it into men,

And men, love-sad,

Wish to be young again.


© Copyright 2016 henryd1. All rights reserved.

Snow is white Snow is white

Status: Finished

Genre: Poetry

Houses:

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Poetry

Houses:

Summary

'Snow is white' is a famous example of a basic factual sentence in the philosophy of language. Here the adjective and the noun are reversed. The point is that the reversal turns prose into poetry: the sentence 'white is the snow' does not represent a fact about the world; it brings a world forth. This difference is mirrored in the contrast between, wise men (philosophers), on the one hand, and poets and children, on the other. The latter are happy, totally absorbed in building their snowman/poem, and in so doing bringing forth a world; men, despite their wisdom, simply watch on, 'representing' a world which they would rather be able to inhabit unreflectively. True wisdom is the ability to do the latter; it is 'other wise'.

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