Erick Mead wrote:
Geez! Not a poet among the bunch of ya ...! BTW -- Wang Yang Ming -- 16th century. The Old Man was trying to communicate complex things that do not denote well in the ebst of circumstances -- if at all. That does not make the attempt to get inside that stream ofthought meaningless or worthless to consider seriously in its own right, and without prejudging assumptions about what it does or does not have to say. I am constantly amazed at those who, not having the time, inclination or background to delve carefully into these things treat them as not worthy of being delved into at all. The lamp may be worthless to a blind man -- that does not mean it has no uses.
I plead guilty to not having read Want Yang Ming in a decade, and thank you for the correction on the date of his life, which my dim recollectionI led me to confuse with the date of his revival.
As a past recipieint of the Ina Coolbrith Prize in Poetry, I have an intense interest in the saggy tits of circumstance and no compunction whatsoever about saying unequivocally that whatever virtues Ueshiba's doka may have, few -- if any -- of them have to do with their quality as poetry.
Excellence in one area of endeavor rarely extends to other areas, Jefferson, daVinci, Vico, or even less illustrious but more contemporary examples such as Edward Said and Noam Chomsky notwithstanding.
That doesn't mean the doka don't have evidentiary value.
But I'm not about to pretend to hold the view that they have value as poetry or as a unique philosophical distillation and reformulation of old wisdom made new for our times.
If you want to make that case, I wish you good luck. You're going to need it.