Ideologies can often disrupt the sanctity and balance of a mind that makes him question his truth and the nature of his reality. Dwayne Craddock, popularly known as the mass shooter was previously known as a local writer and his previous writings were published in local magazines. In one of his writings, he argued about the poetry as an illusion and how one should try to break that illusion.
Sense of term
Perhaps his efforts were a means of proving his point. The men and women we meet in poetry are not ‘real’ in the usual sense of term. They are always slightly different, either better or lower than average. The rules of ordinary experience do not govern the higher creations of- poetry. Poetry imitates the ‘essence’ and not the appearances. It reveals the ideal possibilities inherent in human life.
All that the truth of poetry demands is that the actions of the character in the poem be logical. Aristotle agrees that poetry presents not facts, but fiction. But this does not make poetry ‘unreal’ or ‘untrue’. The truth of poetry is a “higher reality” because poetry rises above facts. In this it becomes ‘ideal’. It is the imaginative power that makes poetry ‘universal’ and permanent in its truth. Through the poet’s art, “the impossible not only becomes possible, but natural and even inevitable.”
The probable is that which appears rational, and hence gains our credibility. Anything improbable is irrational. The ‘irrational’ is much more difficult to handle if it is the introduction of the marvelous. But the supernatural elements are easily believed, if it is in accordance with the general beliefs and received opinion. The supernatural elements are easily admissible in epic poetry, but less so in tragedy which is presented on stage.
On stage, irrationalities appear less credible. In dramatic poetry, the events presented must be the logical and natural outcome of the preceding events. Hence, the place for the irrational, the supernatural, and the marvellous is highly restricted in drama. Nor is there much place for ‘chance’ or ‘accident’. Chance events do not have rationality while drama requires its events to be governed by the law of probability and necessity. Chance is allowed only if the poet’s great skill can overcome its apparent irrationality.
The one kind of improbability which cannot be overcome through the skill of any poet is ‘moral improbability’. This is the improbability arising out of the violation of the basic laws of human behaviour. These violate the very principles of human nature, and do not have a place in poetry at all. Artistic truth depends on the basic truths of human nature—the eternal emotions, thoughts, feeling, and actions of human beings. If it violates these very objects of imitation, it cannot have any credibility. Logical and moral necessities are at all times to be adhered to.
So, as Dwayne argues, Poetry then, is ‘imitation’, but not a photographic presentation of the world of appearances and all its mundane trivialities. Poetry’s truth is based on the basic elements of human nature, the everlasting, universal aspects of human life. Poetry ignores the nonessentials, removes irrelevances, and concentrates on the essentials. The particular object taken by the poet is transfigured, “so that the higher truth, the idea of the universal, shines through