Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Are intelligence and wisdom two different things?
I don’t know. Ask the heart.

And what of knowledge?

Is it a black cat on a moonless night,
or the visible part of a mountain?

Think long; think low;
for deep were the eyes of Maud Rudell.†

Hillsborough,1881-1900. With thanks to Robert Willson.


Jonathan Chant said...

Great response to a great photo.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Jonathan. Robert’s work is amazing — intimate, private, generous, inspiring... and the list goes on.

JFM said...

Beautiful photo with beautiful words...what a talented duo you and Robert are :)

William Michaelian said...

Hi, Jan. Thanks very, very much.

Jim Murdoch said...

Intelligence is the capacity to learn—an intelligent person can still be ignorant—but once a person takes in information he acquires knowledge even if he doesn’t understand what he knows; once he can use that knowledge and reason on it then he’s displaying a level of understanding but wisdom is all about how that understanding is applied. Thousands of people know Einstein’s famous equation explaining mass–energy equivalence but very few understand it enough to explain it and even fewer have the skill set to apply it in any practical way; whether building an atomic bomb with that knowledge was wise is something even the stupidest person will likely have an opinion on though.

I know you probably weren’t looking for a real answer when you asked those questions but I thought I’d show you how clever I was. Not quite sure where cleverness fits into the above though.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

well words leave us to thinking.. and this is always so good and nice,

thw work of Robert is amazing yes, I always liked him

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Jim. Time will tell. Or it won’t. You’re right: I don’t know that I was looking for anything, really. Instinct and observation tell me that without heart, intelligence isn’t intelligence, but mere intellect — an IQ out for a drive. In that light, I see little difference, if any, between intelligence and wisdom. At the same time, I know there are many who could prove me wrong, and take pleasure in it. They would do so based on their knowledge. But knowledge, no matter how extensive, pales before self-understanding. Being right about something is useful in a sense, but out of it grows a Cult of Rightness that is appalling. Anyone can be right. Anyone can know something more than the next person — which means, of course, that everyone knows something less than the next person. That knowledge and the ability to wield it like a weapon should be the comfort and pride of so many, in my mind, at least, shows a lack of self-knowledge.

Laura, thank you. And just since yesterday, Robert has posted several more photos that have left me in awe. I’m still trying to absorb them.

jasmin said...

Die meisten sind zu Spielern geworden: Sie spielen mit den Worten und Werten, an die sie nicht mehr glauben können - um doch noch etwas zu sagen zu haben, um nicht verstummen zu müssen.
Tempel des Apoll in Delphi war in der Antike deutlich und für alle sichtbar ein kurzer und markanter Spruch zu lesen: "Gnothi Seautón" - "Erkenne dich selbst". Selbsterkenntnis, als tägliche Übung, sollte der Anfang sein, die Basis für jedes sinnvolle Denken über Gott und die Welt.

mit guten Wünschen Jasmin

these temporal rooms said...

i imagine Maud her in Cape Breton back in the 1800's. she was young when she died as was the case back then but i picture her on the farm with the work and the home life she must have had. i picture her standing in the yard with the cat and the mountain behind. i picture in a solitary moment asking questions.

you have taken the photograph and
made it a beautiful and thoughtful poem.

yhank you my friend.


William Michaelian said...

I agree, Jasmin. Thank you.

Robert, your photograph, followed by your simple statement regarding Maud Rudell, are what coaxed these words out of the mist and gave them their present form. For that, I am ever grateful. Again and again, I’m astonished by your gift. Thank you.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...



When once the changing world we understood,
whose laws we knew were permanent and clear,
when once distinct the shades of bad and good
and fear was all we thought we had to fear,

when once a narrow path before us lay,
straight and unobstructed by illusion,
when once our destination was plain as day
and we were never troubled by confusion

it was then that we were young and then we knew
a simple world observed with simple eyes,
but as we lived and learned and older grew,
the less we understood and so grew wise.

For wisdom is no more than finding true
that, after all, we never had a clue.

Copyright 2005 - Evolving-Poems 1965-2005
Copyright 2010 - Ponds and Lawns-New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Ah, thank you, Mr. Appleseed.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Following is a quote from the introduction to my chapbook by the publisher, Allen Taylor.

It is a strange coincidence, and somewhat uncanny, how you, Mr. Michaelian, independently zoomed in on the 'apple' thing.

"Gary B. Fitzgerald calls himself a 'Taoist nature poet.' The description fits. His
simplicity-by-design philosophy is a testament to the hard work he has put into writing
these verses. In his own words, 'It’s easy to use difficult words to describe simple things,
much harder to address the difficult things with simple words.'

If I could point out one clear strength of Gary B. Fitzgerald, it would be his connection to
human consciousness. In these poems there are elements of science, history, pathos,
philosophy, spirituality, humor, and nature. I think if William Blake were writing poetry
in the 21st century it might look like some of these poems.

Whatever else you might make of Hardwood, you should just enjoy it. These poems, like
the great ‘I Am’ itself, just are. They exist. Fitzgerald again: 'I guess you could say that
the purpose of my poetry is the same as that of an apple tree. It just is. It grows because it
must. If someone comes along and picks an apple and enjoys it, so much the better.'

Yes, so much the better. Gary B. Fitzgerald and I would like to offer you a few apples.
Savor the ones you like and share the rest with a friend."

Johnny Appleseed.

William Michaelian said...

And for those interested, this lucky windfall. A search for your name here at Recently Banned Literature also provides interesting results. Thanks, Gary.