Thinking Being

who can think being

away not I sitting here

under the blossoms

The phrase “think being away” is quoted from William Desmond. It draws on the phrase “think being” — and I suspect Desmond is having some fun with the fashionable use of the word “think” used as a transitive verb. Especially when the object of the verb “think” is “being.”  The absurdity of thinking being is foregrounded by the grammar: can we think (produce, project) some thing we presumably count as part of OUR being?

Such vague questions may require even vaguer answers. But “thinking being away” goes further: rejection of “being” as pure nonsense fails to recognize the
“imaginative” aspect of abstract terms like being. For a brilliant analysis of the “sense” of such nonsense, see Stephen Mulhall, The Great Riddle (OUP 2015).

The image of the poet sitting under the blossoms seems a fitting response to the first part. It too is absurd, but in a different way.FullSizeRender.jpg It is a traditional image of immanence: the mind immersed in concrete being.


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