Saturday, April 2, 2011
Death and the Powers
Meat wants Meat, Meat wants Sweet, Meat sweats for the Sweets, Meat wants who it meets- It kills to eat. Now there's no help but evolving Out of the Meat, and into the System. It isn't the many and the few- It's yourself- it's you! Come! Into the world of light!
From Robert Pinsky-
Why write about robots? Not because I am interested in gadgets. And why a man whose body is failing? Not because I am interested in death.
Rather, I think it is the nature of work, and the human need to make things, that led me to imagine Simon Powers, a bullying, charismatic lover of money and poetry, power and family.
When we strive, in the characteristic human way, to make a business or a garden or a poem or a collection or a piece of music, we try to give what we make certain qualities of life. The made thing, if we succeed, has something resembling a soul. In English, we say that it is a "work of art" or simply "it works."
The word "robot," I am told, comes from a Czech word meaning "one who works." The things we make- if they are all we hope them to be- imitate something of ourselves. A poem, says the great American poet William Carlos Williams, is a "machine made out of words"; that is, a poem is a robot that performs the work of meaning and emotion. The garden, the business, etc. are robots that perform versions of that same work.
The robots who perform the opera-within-the-opera are the creatures or descendants or avatars of Simon Powers and his family. In trying to re-create the Powers family and their reality, the robots are in a sense returning the favor of creation... as our works may sometimes do.