Thursday, 31 May 2012

Poetically Man Dwells

Heidegger's essay 'Poetically Man Dwells' explores the theme of human presence in the world. It is a text dense with meaning which invites careful, attentive reading.

Here at the Bungalow, the world continues its ineffable life - with me or without me. The turtle dove is turrr-turring from somewhere out in the green leafage round the pond; the moorhens are urgent with food collection; the song thrush is declaiming from a high bough.

Nevertheless, I and my fellow humans have shaped this place by our makings, actions, poiesis. The big ash tree from which the thrush sings was planted - or allowed to grow - beside the lane, perhaps 100 years ago. The pond was once a fish pond in the 17th century, an orderly rectangle (as Johannes Kip's engraving shows), but is now a chaotic fiesta of dark water and sprawling vegetation. The lawn patrolled by the moorhens has been shaped by my choices with a mowing machine, and so has the ant-heap growing in the middle of it.

I am creating a world here, and others will do so after me.

Plants and animals do not know this fact.

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