“The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance from Heaven to Earth, from Earth to Heaven; and as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name; such tricks hath strong imagination.”
– William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 5, Scene 1)
One might be wondering, what is poetry but the imaginings of a make-believe world, no more real than dreams? If this is true, our imagination is a rather perplexing thing, since it is often regarded as something fanciful, and yet it is also something none of us can choose to abandon. We were made to dream so to speak, some of the more serious “realists” may only dream by night (or so they attest), but for the most part, we also find ourselves dreamers by day.
Why do we love to dream? Is it only to escape the so-called dreariness of “reality” or can dreams, in fact, shape our “reality”?
Language is the seed of thought. Without language we would be unable to contemplate, problem-solve, self-express, communicate and discover. If just the basic use of words can help endeavor this, what wealth is to be unlocked with the most rich of languages, poetry?
Poetry at its finest, is the mind in motion towards a creative discovery. Thus, poetry is not only playful but very much embodies a muse, a guide towards our destination point, like a Virgil to a Dante.
We are meant to dream, because it is only through our imagination that we can unlock the potential that is yet to become.
The poet Shelley is known for writing “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” in his In Defense of Poetry. What this means, is that only through the imagination of a poet can one strike the harmonic balance between the prosperity of the individual with the prosperity of the state, like a Solon of Athens.
And so it is fitting that Edgar Poe wrote, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
We must first dare to imagine, before we can discover, and then come to know.
It was Friedrich Schiller who would make the bold statement that it is “Only through Beauty’s morning-gate, that thou dost penetrate the land of knowledge,” and we wholeheartedly agree. Thus, RTF is proud to present “Through Beauty’s Morning Gate to the Land of Knowledge: Poetry Symposium” which will consist of four living poets who will be reciting their own works in addition to the works of a great classical poet from the Russian, Spanish, Italian and English cultural matrix who strove to express the eternal through their works. Each of the four poets will also present their thoughts and reflections on the importance of poetry, and its unique creative power to transform the world.
It is our hope that such a symposium will not only inspire but offer a look into the universal quality of poetry that transcends any specific language, and that through this experience we gain a better understanding of how the mind moves with the rhythm of conscience and passion no matter what culture we come from, and what language we speak.
Bios of the Poets
Daniel Leach is a poet living in Houston, Texas who has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His works have been been published on The Chained Muse, Imaginative Conservative, Society of Classical Poets and his volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition is entitled “Voices on the Wind.”
Valeria Z. Nollan is professor emerita of Russian studies at Rhodes College. She was born in Hamburg, West Germany. Her books and articles on Russian literature, religion, and nationalism have established her as an authority on topics relating to modern Russia. Between 1985-present she has made twenty-six extended research trips to Europe, the Soviet Union, and Russia. She has given lectures and poetry readings at major institutions of higher learning in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia; Havana, Cuba; Rome, Italy; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and London, UK, among other cities. Her first poetry book In Search of Rachmaninoff was published by the Rachmaninoff Society in Amsterdam in 2004. Her second poetry collection Holocaust of the Noble Beasts was published by Goldfish Press in 2020.
Adam Sedia is a poet, essayist, translator, and classical composer. He has published three volumes of poetry Visions Beyond, Inquietude and The Spring’s Autumn, and his poems and essays have appeared in publications including The Chained Muse, The Society of Classical Poets’ journal, and Indiana Voice Journal. His music can be heard on his YouTube channel. He lives in his native Northwest Indiana with his wife and children, where he practices law as a civil and appellate litigator.
David B. Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website and the founder of the New Lyre Podcast. His up-coming collection of poems is entitled Modern Dreams.
Feature Image: Albert Bierstadt’s A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie, 1866
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly