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Old 01-04-2008, 12:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Riddle

This is a simple riddle.
If anyone feels like answering my question then I will be happy.


The hand it shakes when ready
To write old words anew
If my hand is always steady
Then are any of my thoughts untrue?



-Jake V.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old words anew... hmm.
That doesn't necessarily constitute falseness.
However, if you're hand's always steady then you'd always be writing things straight from your heart... whether or not it's "truth" is up for debate
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Does the steadiness of your hand signify truth, and the beginning is a hand shaking when ready to write old words anew... is the hand shaking the hand of a lying man?
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Boxcarguy you are partially correct, so I will explain further.

The first half is an aphorism.
The second half conflicts with the first, creating a paradox.
The question mark at the end denotes the fact that the poem is rhetorical.
Like boxcarguy said, if my hand is steady then the words I write are "new"; they haven't yet been proven false.
That primary inference would lead to the question, "What is truth?"
This question obviously has no answer and is purely rhetorical, but from my perspective (one who has not been proven wrong) it is always true.
Thus, the entire poem is converted into a second aphorism instead of being taken as a simple riddle!
In the context of this poem, aphorisms are paradoxical (as mentioned before), so the entire poem is a paradox musing over the philosophical/rhetorical question, "What is truth?"
From this, rhetoric becomes caged.
The paradox comes from my steady hand, making the paradox of truth/untruth true.
In conclusion, the overall meaning is that truth is always victim to my personal interpretation; truth is whatever I think because it is my reality (not all of my thoughts have to be true, which would be a paradox in itself).


I got a little carried away.
Sorry if that explanation was confusing, but you didn't have to read any of it, so I revoke that apology.

Thank you both for replying.
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So it wasn't really a riddle at all then (I mean it is, sort of, but it's meaning is not concrete at all, but merely a path to a rhetorical question with no conclusive answer). And it most certainly wasn't simple. So instead of trying to figure out what is true, and what sort of philosophical school of thought you should tackle this piece with... you can really boil it down to: this whole piece was a lie to begin with.

Secondly, I am not sure these are aphorisms. They aren't true aphorisms anyway. I was trying to think of an example of an aphorism, but I just woke up -- so let's look at some examples I pulled up:
"Science is organized knowledge"
"Lost time is never found again"
An aphorism by definition is a saying that expresses a general truth or an astute observation. Going back and looking at the first half of your piece...

The hand it shakes when ready
To write old words anew


What exactly is a truth that one could glean from this couplet? There is no general truth in this line. It's not quite an aphorism then is it? Then:

If my hand is always steady
Then are any of my thoughts untrue?


There is no observation, or general truth here. Whether the question is rhetorical or not -- it loses any chance of being an aphorism due to the fact that it is purely based on rhetorical, fantastical, situational, biological reaction.

Without the existence of an aphorism, it hardly becomes a paradox at all. You put forth the implied fact that a hand shaking is the hand of a liar. Then you instituted the fact that your hand never shakes, making you forever honest by the standards you put forth. The answer to the question of this "riddle" is - no, your thoughts are never untrue. If we go by the rules governing the piece.

Summary: The piece DOES have an answer. It is NOT a simple riddle. It is a riddle, whether you wanted it to be or not. The piece is, itself, a lie, without regard to it's content but to its intent.

I could go on... I'm pretty well versed in philosophy (the continued talk about paradoxical connotations between aphorisms is almost wholly incorrect, but I'm too tired to blab on about that)
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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a clock!?!?!?!?!?!


jk
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
So it wasn't really a riddle at all then (I mean it is, sort of, but it's meaning is not concrete at all, but merely a path to a rhetorical question with no conclusive answer).
Yes, it was a riddle.
If it wasn't paradoxical then it would have been strictly rhetorical, but the fact that it is self-conflicting provides an answer to the question "What is truth?" (maybe not the most concrete riddle).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
Secondly, I am not sure these are aphorisms. They aren't true aphorisms anyway.
An aphorism by definition is a saying that expresses a general truth or an astute observation.
The hand it shakes when ready
To write old words anew


What exactly is a truth that one could glean from this couplet? There is no general truth in this line. It's not quite an aphorism then, is it?
It is a perfect aphorism.
I respect the fact that you're trying to shut me down, but if you've read any of Francis Bacon's work then you'd see he does the same thing.
Obviously the first two lines of my poem aren't a recognized truth, they're my "astute observation"/personal experience.

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Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
Then:
If my hand is always steady
Then are any of my thoughts untrue?


There is no observation, or general truth here. Whether the question is rhetorical or not -- it loses any chance of being an aphorism due to the fact that it is purely based on rhetorical, fantastical, situational, biological reaction.
This is not an aphorism, as I mentioned earlier.
This half of the poem is meant to conflict with the first half, to create a paradox.
It's a little hazy, but I meant for the paradox of the aphorism to parallel the paradox of truth being untruth.
The second aphorism would be the entire poem as a whole.
It would be my paradoxical observation that the question "What is truth?" answers "Truth is a lie."
I suppose the aphorism isn't really there because it's not a saying, it's just implied.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
You put forth the implied fact that a hand shaking is the hand of a liar. Then you instituted the fact that your hand never shakes, making you forever honest by the standards you put forth. The answer to the question of this "riddle" is - no, your thoughts are never untrue. If we go by the rules governing the piece.
True, but that is not the answer to the question of the riddle, it goes a step further.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
The piece DOES have an answer. It is NOT a simple riddle. It is a riddle, whether you wanted it to be or not. The piece is, itself, a lie, without regard to it's content but to its intent.
The answer/intent of the riddle is essentially a lie.
I was playing with the fact that truth is whatever our reality reveals to us and perhaps that reality is not truly truth at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
I could go on... I'm pretty well versed in philosophy (the continued talk about paradoxical connotations between aphorisms is almost wholly incorrect, but I'm too tired to blab on about that)
There is no paradox between the individual aphorisms (if you can say that there are two), that would be incorrect, but I answered that earlier.

Thank you for responding again.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you took this as a "too personal" attack. I didn't come into the thread to "shut you down", but to engage in an intelligent conversation/debate, which is more or less rare around these parts.

I still don't agree with you that your first couplet is an aphorism. I misread what you said about the second couplet being an aphorism but the critique I had for the second couplet applies to the first one. I think that it is an observation of self, which cannot be called an aphorism -- well, well wait a second... let me clarify it like so; should it be an aphorism -- it is more so esoteric, personal observation - than it is a general truth that can be recognized by the person analyzing it (a reader, or listener) -- and I provided two examples of what a true aphorism looks like. But that is all semantics and subjective when it comes down to it, it's personal opinion so - there goes that effort.

By the way I am familiar with some of Francis Bacon's work -- and he might do the "exact same thing" even though that statement is broad as all hell, and completely worthless (no offense) in a debate. If you'd care to go into details and examples of Francis Bacon doing the "exact same thing" I'd love to see them, provided the context is also noted. I'd hate to think you were just name dropping for "credibility's sake".

I think then you get a little existentialist for your own good with the whole, reality is not truly truth at all. You get caught up in your own words and contradict what you intend with your piece and what you respond to me with. I have a low tolerance for existentialism personally -- studying it was absolutely droll and mind numbing (or WAS it?) You called "truth is whatever our reality reveals to us" a fact -- now, is that really a fact? Because what does fact imply? Fact is an undeniable truth, is it not? Now judging by your own "philosophical" musings on the same subject, can you really make that statement? Is truth a lie? How can you make that statement anyway? In order for a lie to exist there HAS to be truth. So wouldn't you think it impossible for lies to exist without truth existing as well?

There is just so much MISSING from this 4 line "riddle". I just don't think it encompasses all of what you want it to encompass. I think it is a poor piece because of that, not your fault really... but that's a lot to take responsibility for in 4 lines.... I think you were a bit overzealous... bit off more than you could chew.

But to your credit, it did require you to think. (OR DID IT) F'ing existentialist garbage =P
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
I think you took this as a "too personal" attack. I didn't come into the thread to "shut you down", but to engage in an intelligent conversation/debate, which is more or less rare around these parts.
Exactly. Lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
I still don't agree with you that your first couplet is an aphorism. I misread what you said about the second couplet being an aphorism but the critique I had for the second couplet applies to the first one. I think that it is an observation of self, which cannot be called an aphorism -- well, well wait a second... let me clarify it like so; should it be an aphorism -- it is more so esoteric, personal observation - than it is a general truth that can be recognized by the person analyzing it (a reader, or listener) -- and I provided two examples of what a true aphorism looks like. But that is all semantics and subjective when it comes down to it, it's personal opinion so - there goes that effort.
But it's not subjective to the point where the definition is changed.
An aphorism still has to be a saying, it can't just be implied (as the second is).
I know you know what you're talking about and agree with you now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
By the way I am familiar with some of Francis Bacon's work -- and he might do the "exact same thing" even though that statement is broad as all hell, and completely worthless (no offense) in a debate. If you'd care to go into details and examples of Francis Bacon doing the "exact same thing" I'd love to see them, provided the context is also noted. I'd hate to think you were just name dropping for "credibility's sake".
I was citing Francis Bacon for "Of Studies", but only for proof that an aphorism doesn't have to be a general truth, it can also just be an opinion.
My first aphorism falls into that category, but the second is essentially nonexistent, so my logic fails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe View Post
I think then you get a little existentialist for your own good with the whole, reality is not truly truth at all. You get caught up in your own words and contradict what you intend with your piece and what you respond to me with. I have a low tolerance for existentialism personally -- studying it was absolutely droll and mind numbing (or WAS it?) You called "truth is whatever our reality reveals to us" a fact -- now, is that really a fact? Because what does fact imply? Fact is an undeniable truth, is it not? Now judging by your own "philosophical" musings on the same subject, can you really make that statement? Is truth a lie? How can you make that statement anyway? In order for a lie to exist there HAS to be truth. So wouldn't you think it impossible for lies to exist without truth existing as well?

There is just so much MISSING from this 4 line "riddle". I just don't think it encompasses all of what you want it to encompass. I think it is a poor piece because of that, not your fault really... but that's a lot to take responsibility for in 4 lines.... I think you were a bit overzealous... bit off more than you could chew.

But to your credit, it did require you to think. (OR DID IT) F'ing existentialist garbage =P
Haha nice puns (OR ARE THEY?).
Although I don't agree that existentialist philosophy is garbage, I do agree that I bit off a bit more than I could chew.
I'm not sure if one quatrain (from my hand) has the ability to hold all sorts of that crap and also have a clearly defined answer (like a riddle should).
Thank you.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it's just a failed riddle.
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