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On Reading Kant

by Brandon Robshaw

Eerie in its grandeur.
Sublime in its mystique.
Passing understanding.
Thrillingly opaque.

So abstract that it’s concrete.
An edifice of blocks
of monumental marble:
words as hard as rocks.

Space and time. Causation.
Perception. Apperception.
Notion. Intuition.
Dialectal. Transcendental.
Unity. Totality.
Faculty. Plurality.
Noumena. Phenomena.
Categories. Antinomies.
And – the crowning glory –
the synthetic a priori.

It’s like the language of a race of superior beings.

Reading it’s like stumbling under glimmering stars
over a vast expanse of twilit marshes.
Or wandering through an unknown, dimly-lit cathedral,
at evensong, without your glasses.

© Brandon Robshaw 2017

Brandon Robshaw is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University and runs a Philosophy class for the WEA. He is crowdfunding a philosophical novel for Young Adults with Unbound: unbound.com/books/adam-gowers.

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