Two years ago, beginning with Volume 20, we refined the
Neuroendocrinology Letters with an artistic touch connected
to the scientific content. This is the way we convey the humanistic
approach to our readers and this is the way we understand
the comprehensive nature of every creative and scientific
the April 6, 2001 issue of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
Peter D. Smith reviewing George Steiners Grammars
of creation (Faber), points out that for George Steiner,
the products of invention do not share the grammars
of creation. Science and technology, unlike literature, art,
music and philosophy, do not attain the condition of timelessness:
A nineteenth-century steam engine is now a historical
curio. A novel by Dostoevsky is not.
arts offer intimations of eternity, glimpses of a distant
horizon beyond the timebound, lawful hyle that determines
our being, Poiesis authorizes the unreason of hope:
In that immensely significant sense, the arts are more indispensable
to men and women than even the best of science and technology
(innumerable societies have long endured without these). Creativity
in the arts and in philosophic proposal is, in respect of
the survival of consciousness, of another order than is invention
in the sciences .
this issue of the Journal we would like to introduce you to
two different pieces of poetry from different cultures and
different destinies but with one most vital common determinator
- the timelessness and eternity of art and poetry.
poem is chosen from the native America poetry from a century
ago, from Chippewa Songs (Algonquian tribes in North America
- NY State, Canada, North Dakota). The Chippewa tribe is one
of the largest native American groups and a part of the Algonquian
language group. The landscape the people has inhabited includes
the Great Lakes: Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Minnesota and
North Dakota. In the summer season Chippewa gathered into
villages where they fished, planted small gardens and foraged.
Around the Great Lakes they harvested wild rice and hunted
deer, moose, bear and small animals.
phase of Chippewa life such as love, war, a change in the
weather, dreams etc, is expressed in music, wrote Frances
Densmore (The Norton Anthology, American Literature, New York
1979). Dreams figured greatly even in everyday life, and the
singers of the songs would begin their performances by announcing
that during the night these song (poems) appeared to them
through a spirit power. The dreamer conveyed his songs to
the others the next day. The drum and rattle and flute accompanied
the songs, which are quite short and have strong imagery,
almost like Japanese Haikus. These poems are sung and were
written down in 1907, before the lifestyle changed drastically.
poem, Break of Day in
the trenches is by Isaac Rosenberg (18901918).
Rosenberg was the least privileged of the British poets we
are reading; he was born into a working-class Jewish family
that had emigrated from Russia and eventually moved to the
East End of London. Although his working-class origins and
economic circumstances prevented him from attending Oxford
or Cambridge, he was a talented artist and enrolled in evening
classes in the Art School of Birkbeck College, London University
and later at the Slade School of art. He hoped to make his
living as a portrait artist and had moved to South Africa
to pursue his career when the war broke out. He returned to
England in 1915, enlisted in 1916 and was killed at the front
on April 3, 1918 just months away from the armistice (the
war ended on November 11, 1918 and all in all, 8,700,000 lives
a painter, later a poet, his verse changed from the lyrical
to graphic description of the horrors of war. His imagery
is fierce and direct and alive. He writes from the trences
and doesnt spare us the grim reality of the senseless
killing and meaninglessness of war.
1912 he published Night and Day, and before going
to the front he published a small volume of poems, Youth
(1915). Both T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound knew Rosenbergs
poetry and admired it. Some critics suggest that, had he survived
the war, he might have been an outstanding poet, equalling
both Pound and Eliot in reputation. The voice of a modern
poet is clearly heard, for example, in God and
in his longer projected work Moses (1916). The
century was deprived of one of its most promising poets when
he died in the Great War.
Art & Advertising Director
Lili Maas. From the Art Directors Desk. Neuroendocrinol
Letters 2000; 21:4.
2 Peter D. Smith. The wingbeat of the unknown. Book review:
George Steiner. Grammars of creation. Faber. In: The Times
Literary Supplement (TLS). London: April 6, 2001. p. 13.