Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/28917
In the 20th century, Sri Chinmoy toured universities around the world and gave lectures, which were later published, about such lofty subjects as “Immortality”, “God and Myself” and “Is Death the End?”
Poetry-heart and prose-mind takes a close look at two of these lectures and discovers that, while there is a definite logical prose structure to them, there is a poetic structure at work as well, which enables a greater understanding of the loftiest, most ineffable and ethereal subjects. These are subjects that mystics and poets have wrestled with throughout centuries, and which have been put to words that have been classified as poetry, prayers, koans, sutras and other religious and spiritual literature. Sri Chinmoy’s lectures take their place among them and can be classified as a unique form of literature.
Looking deeper into the lectures, we see how Sri Chinmoy uses poetic tone, rhetorical structure, metaphors, imagery, lyricism and aphorisms to paint a vivid picture of his lofty topics, and how this seems to aim at inspiring the reader rather than persuading him with arguments. By referring to works on Sri Chinmoy’s poetry, we discover how the lectures’ poetic structure draws from Sri Chinmoy’s experience as a poet. At the same time, this essay looks at how the prose structure flows logically, and bases its statements on solid foundations, and how the two structures help, rather than interfere with each other.
This essay also speculates why Sri Chinmoy has created this unique style and finds evidence in the author’s other works that poetry is the language of the heart, while prose is the language of the mind, and, by speaking to both aspects, a fuller communication is established between speaker and reader. Finally, we discover evidence that Sri Chinmoy sees poetry being closely related to the presentation of truth.
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