The movie is about you, the poem is about somebody else.
Lessing says paintings furnish bodies in space,
Poetry actions in time; the interesting, talking face
Is neither a painting nor a poem; it’s myself.

I am acting as myself because this is how the movie is cast,
The best acting is not acting— it’s you being real.
A movie, like a painting or a poem, makes you feel
You are living in the present, not trapped in the past.

Since life is worth watching
Even when it’s not worth living,
We go into someone else’s past.
We escape our own, not great because it will not last.

This art object describes you,
But it also describes your neighbor, too.
Poems are for your neighbors.
Paintings and movies are multiple, but not true.
Your life is fine, but interesting to only a few.

Watching the poem, I felt
I wanted to be somewhere else,
Because I am never myself
Unless I know I will last,
Even though it is easy to think nothing will last.
The only alternative? the horror
That this will last and last and last.

Someone wants to cast  you in their play.
You are going to fulfill a dream,
Even if it’s a dream
Dull in a dull day.


  1. Anonymous said,

    April 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    I tried to leave a comment earlier, one that included information about a book that was recently published, but I was unable to do so.

  2. Anonymous said,

    April 22, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I’ll bypass the contest, since that’s not the way I think about philosophy.

    Rebecca Goldstein earned her PhD at Princeton, which has a highly reputable and hardcore analytic philosophy program. Like just about every analytic philosopher I know, she sees the argument as central to philosophy: that philosophy is a technique based on an “argument for internal coherence,” as she put it on “Here and Now” today. Her most recent book is “Plato at the Googleplex”:

    Where you can hear the show:

    In 1996, she was named a MacArthur (“genius grant”) Fellow.

    Her husband is Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker:

    A good Atlantic piece about the book:

    And from the “San Francisco Chronicle”:

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