I suppose a concrete application of this observation might well
include a reference to Frazer's version of the birth of Osiris
in which the need to reconcile the two calendars in order to
wind up with 365 days in a year for accurate prediction of the
Nile's flooding, resulted in a game played to win time (or non-time)
for the goddess Nut to give birth to her five kiddies.

In fact one could go so far as to say that for the Egyptians
what we call myth was both science and religion. The two were

One could make a similar case with the Hymn to Demeter and its
accounting for winter through the kidnapping of Persephone.

Today one could make a reverse case of science being our
modern religion. Our acceptance of non-sensory evidence in
explanation for molecular, &c phenomena would make a very
interesting parallel. Given the Manichean principle that what
is above is also below, one could well say that for us too
religion and science are indistingishable.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rickard A. Parker [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 8:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Poets on poetry

Richard Seddon wrote:
> It seems to me that reason and superstition do not dwell well together
> and that poetry has always been an excellent vehicle for
> superstition/myth/faith and not a good vehicle at all for reason.

The conclusion of Eliot's address "On Poetry" (1947):

    Science should teach us to know when a theorem is proved, when a
    fact is demonstrated, when a chain of reasoning holds together.
    Poetry should teach us to understand the ways of expressing emotions
    and feelings in words. So it seems to me that poetry as well as
    science -- poetry because I believe it can help us to distinguish
    an appeal to our reason from an appeal to our emotions -- is important
    for the formation of good citizens.
                                            T.S. Eliot