Winter Haiku

William Irwin Thompson

Gulls fly in snowfall.
Snowflakes do not stick to them,
sliding off feathers.

Planes do not fly well
in sleet or clouds holding snow.
Metal attracts ice.

This short northern day
cannot soak up the long night;
darkness blots light out.

Moonlight in the ice
On the gutters of my roof.
The stars can't do that.

William Irwin Thompson is a poet and cultural philosopher who has made significant contributions to cultural history, social criticism, the philosophy of science, and the study of myth. Early in his career he left academia to found Lindisfarne, an association of creative individuals in the arts, sciences, and contemplative practices devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary consciousness, or noosphere. Thompson lived in Switzerland for 17 years and describes his most recent work, Canticum Turicum, as “a long poem on Western Civilization, that begins with folktales and traces of Charlemagne in Zurich and ends with the completion of Western Civilization as expressed in Finnegans Wake and the traces of James Joyce in Zurich.” With mathematician Ralph Abraham he has designed a new type of cultural history curriculum based on their theories about the evolution of consciousness. Thompson now lives in Portland, Maine.

Read more about William Irwin Thompson

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4 February 2010

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