It's been a real pleasure lately reading Bob Hicok's new book, Elegy Owed, along with FINALLY engaging the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus by my beloved Rainer Marie Rilke. I've also recently met (the work of) Jake Adam York, a fine poet who left us too soon, and I've lately been jumping into some philosophical writing. My exposure to philosophical ideas has mainly been through Wikipedia, though I have reread portions of Ethics by Aristotle, and I'm making my way through (60% done so far) Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy. I'm also fortunate to have a brother part-way through his graduate studies in philosophy at U Conn, who can (attempt) to guide me through the myriad of issues his field is involved in.
What I value in poetry - having my senses and / or the world reset / refreshed - I find I'm valuing in philosophy: It has re-oriented me a bit by disorienting me; that is, my familiar beliefs and patterns of thought are no longer automatic, and I'm thinking critically about my methods of critical thinking, and every other aspect of my mind. It's almost been like spending several sessions with a therapist: I found disbelief where there should be belief, conjecture where I should admit ignorance, and some semi-conscious resistance (ultimately proven futile) against my true self. Philosophy has exercised a part of my brain that'd grown complacent and proud.
So in this post, I shall recommend reading philosophy, and if you already do, I'm happy to have finally joined you! Interestingly, it's made me feel more well-rounded, as I can now look at the world and feel both understanding AND wonder - I thank poetry and philosophy for the wonder, and philosophy and science for the understanding. (Though the more we understand with science, the more wonderful the world seems!)
Thanks for reading. Passion and courage, compadres!