Jester, Poet And Philosopher - Poem by gershon hepner
The jester may be a mere jester,
but fine words can make him become a poet,
but should he aim to be a quester
of wisdom he should never show it,
because no one can understand
philosophers like Aristotle,
and since for them there’s no demand
he may end up bound to a bottle.
Gregory Cowles writes about George Carlin who died on June 22,2008, in the NYT (“The Thinking Jester, ” June 24,2008) :
Just over a week before his death, George Carlin granted a long interview to the magazine Psychology Today in which he discussed, among other things, his views on writing and his formative influences — including this bit:
You asked me to remind you to tell me about Arthur Koestler. That was another impact. I was doing nightclub comedy down in the Village. I was down there in ’63, ’64, and my friend told me about Arthur Koestler’s book about the act of creation and it had a section on humor. He was talking about the creative process. There was an illustration on the panel that showed a triptych. On the left panel, there were these names of artistic pursuits. There were poets, painter, composer. And one of them was jester. I was only interested in the jester. What he said about each of these, he said these individuals on the left hand side can transcend the panels of the triptych by creative growth. The jester makes jokes, he’s funny, he makes fun, he ridicules. But if his ridicules are based on sound ideas and thinking, then he can proceed to the second panel, which is the thinker—he called it the philosopher. The jester becomes the philosopher, and if he does these things with dazzling language that we marvel at, then he becomes a poet too. Then the jester can be a thinking jester who thinks poetically. I didn’t see that and say, “That’s what I am going to do, ” but I guess it made an impression on me.
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