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title:12.10 Cultivating new conceptual languages

1. Language cultivation

When a group of people successfully adopt a set of complementary metaphors through which to configure their relationships they are effectively cultivating a new language. This language may not be readily understandable to others -- or may create a false impression of being understandable. Selecting and cultivating metaphors bears a similarity to gardening in the attention that is called for and in the variety of gardens that may be so created. The garden may indeed be a "secret garden".


title:12.9 Policy discourse through metaphor

If ideological positions are not about to change to any significant degree, then there is a case for adopting a more imaginative approach to dialogue between political or religious factions. Such an approach needs to be able to reframe the dialogue so that intractable differences are expressed more creatively without endeavouring to subsume them within an unsustainable consensus -- however attractive.


title:12.8 Envisioning the policy-making experience of the future

How can we go about creatively envisioning the poetic experience of policy-making in a time to come? If the marriage works, then any progeny could well be quite different from both parents. Our imagination must necessarily be stretched. It is important to recognize that the product of this union will not replace the parents. Rather it performs a new function reflecting a creative union of their concerns. Perhaps it should be thought of as a "keystone" or "arena of conversion" between two approaches to reality. Perhaps it is the place from which policies can be engendered and emerge.


title:12.7 Vision of a poetic policy project

Suppose there was a critical mix of people with two characteristics, which or might not overlap in any one person:

(a) sensitivity to the qualitative implications of the structural dimensions vital to poetry and music;

(b) sensitivity to the structuring principles vital to management and the policy sciences.

Could such people usefully meet to share insights into the possibility of composing/designing something that might be called a "poetic policy project"?


title:12.6 Enhancement of policy through key poetic insights

As noted earlier, the term poesis signifies ordering or organization. This is a concern shared by poetry and policy-making. What then are the insights and learnings to be obtained from poetics and poetry composition that might enhance the quality of policy-making? In part this exploration involves a recognition of what poetry seeks to accomplish with language -- since policies have to be articulated through language. In this connection it is worth noting that one director of a school of management summarized his task as "only teaching a new language".


title:12.5 Poetic configuration of policy guidelines

It is assumed here that any higher order of significance and coherence could only emerge if the conventional obsession with "reconciling" policy differences, through reducing or eliminating them, is resisted. The question is whether imaginative use of aesthetic skills can be used to configure strong differences to create a larger pattern of order. It is then the aesthetic properties of that pattern which hold essentially incompatible elements in relationship. This relationship is then to be seen in terms of complementarity, both aesthetic and functional.


title:12.4. Voice of the Matchmaker

Is there even the faintest recognition in our times of the need to make use of poetic disciplines in response to the challenges we face ? Surprisingly there is. The recognition comes from those who recognize the limitations of scientific disciplines in dealing with the complexity of the world problematique -- and specifically with the limitations of the human mind, or of any particular language, in comprehending and encompassing the subtle dimensions amongst which a dynamic balance needs to be maintained.


title:12.3 Overtures of Beauty

From within the world of poetry there are those who occasionally express concern as to whether poetry matters to those outside it. But any criticism they voice is naturally greeted by a most vociferous defence on the part of the proponents of Beauty. An early example was Edmund Wilson's Is Verse a Dying Technique? (1934). The challenge was rearticulated in Joseph Epstein's Who Killed Poetry? (Commentary, 1988). Wilson blamed historical forces, whereas Epstein focused on poets themselves, the institutions they helped create, and notably the creative writing programs.


title:12.1 Prospects for an arranged marriage

The theme here is the future relationship between poetry (including rhythm) and policy making (including management) in their various forms. This might even include the possible role of technology in reconciling them in more meaningful and fruitful ways. Exploring the relationship between such seemingly opposed concerns calls for continuing dialogue between imaginative musing and the constraints of experience.

1. Similarities between poetry-making and policy-making



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