Last week Prof. Colangelo gave us a thoughtful speech about “Voice and Verse: At the origins of contemporary poetry. ” He introduced us several figures related to his topic, and especially I found it interesting the doctrine of Benedetto Croce(1866-1952), who is the famous Italian philosopher. Prof. Colangelo highlighted the phrase “Art is pure intuition or pure expression” from the Croce’s book “Breviario di estetica”(1913). According to prof. Colangelo, here “Intuition” is something you think deeply and “expression” is something you push out. Those joining is underlying an art which includes poetry. Then it made me think that those items are not something unfamiliar to us but it is something we human has as an privilege in nature. The doctrine of Croce tells us that homo nascitur poeta (human is born as a poet) rather than poëta nascitur (A poetry is born). Namely every humans are born as a poet and some men can be great poets, and little poets others. But he also claims that in both differences are not qualitative but quantitative. We all have intuition but we have different quantity of expressions which cause people to be great poets or little.
What would allow people to express our intuition? According to Paul Valery, “voice” would play very important role in order to revive poetry. It is necessary to create a connection of voice, develop it within time, make people listen to arouse their emotion. Although as prof. Colangelo said that it is hard to define the origin of poetry because it is always abstract in the history, “voice” can lead us to get close to the origins of poetry. Because “voice” was the only tool in ancient times to transmit ideas or arts including verses one person to another, from generation to generation before writing system was invented.
The video prof. Colangelo introduced in the lecture reflects how voice effects in poetry. The experimental piece A-Ronne(1975), composed by Edoardo Sanguineti starts from the sound of “a” uttered by a man. It sounded like he is trying to get someone’s attention. Following voice uttered by another person was “hamm”. It somehow for me sounded like responding the first utterance but it seems like it gave each person different interpretations. For instance, in italian culture, this sound evokes prof. Colangelo that an adult tries making a child eat. If you are just looking at the text, those “a” or “hamm” would not give us any strong impressions. However, once they are vocalized in musical tones or articulation, they obtain the meanings. It is common to all experiences such as daily speech or theatre, where changes in expression imply changes in meaning.
Let’s go back to the book “Breviario di estetica”(1913) by Benedetto Croce. The title has the Italian word “estetica” which means “aesthetics”. If we break down the word “estetica”, we can see that it contains the Italian word “etica” which means “ethics”. Ethics is necessary to determine our morals and to hold a society together. This overlap of two words indicates that the principle of artwork creation is fundamentally lying underneath of human principles. We can not have only “intuition” which is related to chaos but we also need “expression” which allows us to organize those chaos into order which enable people to share and connect our thoughts each other.