Friday, April 22, 2005

You Yourself are in Vanity Fair

I recently finished Thackeray's Vanity Fair. It's quite excellent; I highly recommend it. It's a lot to absorb, so I don't have much to say about it. One of the things that struck me in this reading (my first) was how the author goes out of his way to keep reminding the reader that they are reading a novel. And it is not difficult to see why, I think. Vanity Fair is not the world of the novel. You, I, the author -- we all are in Vanity Fair. Everyone passes through it in this world. The novel is just a sideshow in the Fair, a Performance; it has the Fair itself as a subject, but it is a Puppet Play, a distraction from the Vanity Fair that engulfs us all. Eventually we have to put the puppets up and go home, sitting down in a "not uncharitable frame of mind" to apply ourselves to our books or our business. Vanity Fair is not a novel; it is the world. The novel just gestures at it.

This looks like an interesting approach to the work.

A Different Kind of Prophet

I was quite distressed when it happened--
I quite assure you of that--
But I've been carrying burdens long ages;
why not carry the burden of the Lord?

Fancy me a prophet!

But I saw death--
and don't tell me I don't know death;
I know him when I see him
and no doubt about it--
I saw death in the road, and turned aside.

But men! They don't know what's right;
they can't open their eyes and see.
Here I am, an old girl like me,
trying to save him the trouble of dying,
and he beats me for it!

Then I said--and I swear I said it,
for the Lord Himself made me say it--
I said: "What have I done to make you beat me?"

That's what you can call practical prophecy--
straight to the point, and no denying!
And I know it doesn't sound like much,
but true oracles rarely do.

It's an easy enough riddle to guess, I imagine. After all, truth is truth whatever the source. Do you know the speaker?

Reading for the Holy Days: Passover Edition

Sorry to be posting so many links, but it's a busy time for me and there are a lot of things of interest going on. Needless to say, I look at Passover through Christian eyes; but it's great to be in the blogosphere at Passover time. I'll post additional items of interest as I find them.

* Pesah at "Rishon-Rishon"

* Are Your Fish and Haggadah Chametz? at "sultan_knish"

* Unleavening the Hypocrisy of Power at "TikkunOlam"

* Passover Charity Brings the Redemption! at "Mystical Paths"

* The Pesah page at Judaism 101

* Passover Calendar at

* My favorite Passover passage in the Old Testament:

And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, so that they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. They took their accustomed posts according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests threw the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the LORD. For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, "May the good LORD pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary's rules of cleanness." And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. (II Chr. 30:15-20, EST)

* My favorite New Testament Passover passage:

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Cor. 5:6-8, EST)

***UPDATE -- Additional Readings of Interest as I Find Them ****

* Sabbath and Passover Eve at "Hitzei Yehonatan"

* Passover Perspective at "WonderDawg"

* Seder Thoughts at "Dennis Fox's Weblog"

* A Passover Message to Pope Benedict at Newsweek (Rabbi Marc Gellman)

* Avodim hayyinu l'Pharoh b'Mitzrayim at "Mark Kleiman"

* Bedikat chametz at "Veleveteen Rabbi"

Anselm's Day

It was recently Anselm's feast-day, so it seems reasonable to link to Anselmian things, even if somewhat belatedly.

* "Catholic Blogic" had two posts for the occasion: Anselm of Aosta, Bec, and Canterbury (a timeline for his life); Feast of St. Anselm (a list of his major writings, with summaries)

* Here's my post on Anselm's Proslogion argument: The Prayer and the Fool

* A lovely passage from the Proslogion at "Laudator Temporis Acti": Rest.

* A brief discussion of the idea of Cur Deus Homo, Anselm's work on the Incarnation and Redemption, at "verbum ipsum": The Crucified God.

* Here's a passage I posted from Cur Deus Homo: Anselm on Incarnation

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On a Wavering in Hume

In the manuscript of Hume's Dialogues on Natural Religion we find the following passage:

When we consult reason, all causes and effects seem equally explicable a priori; nor is it possible to assign either of them, by the mere abstract contemplation of their nature, without consulting experience, or considering what we have found to result from the operation of objects. And if this proposition be true in general, that reason, judging a priori, finds all causes and effects alike explicable; it must appear more so, when we compare the external world of objects with that world of thought, which is represented as its cause. If reason tells us, that the world of objects requries a cause, it must give us the same information concerning the world of thought: And if the one seems to reason to require a cause of any particular kind, the other must require a cause of a like kind. Any proposition, therefore, which we can form concerning the cause of the former, if it be consistent, or intelligible, or necessary, must also appear to reason consistent or intelligible or necessary, when apply'd to the latter, such as you have described it; and vice versa. It is evident, then, that as far as abstract reason can judge, it is perfectly indifferent, whether we rest on the universe of matter or on that of thought; nor do we gain any things by tracing the one into the other.

This passage is scored out. Then Hume changed his mind, and wrote in the margin: "Print these lines, though eraz'd." Then he changed his mind again and scored that out. Then he printed the same sentence in the margin again. Then he scored that out again. The passage substituted for it in the final version was this one:

If reason (I mean abstract reason, derived from enquiries a priori) be not alike mute with regard to all questions concerning cause and effect; this sentence at least it will venture to pronounce, That a mental world or universe of ideas requires a cause as much as does a material world or universe of objects; and if similar in its arrangement must require a similar cause. For what is there in this subject, which should occasion a different conclusion or inference? In an abstract view, they are entirely alike; and no difficulty attends the one supposition, which is not common to both of them.

This wavering in Hume gives a good picture of one sort of limit one always comes up against in History of Philosophy. Because we have some of the revisions, we know that Hume wavered. But we don't know why. Was the reason a matter of language? In other words, did he feel, for whatever reason, that there was something awkward or unclear about the original passage, something that he perhaps didn't quite find definable (hence the wavering)? Was it a matter of dialogical structure, i.e., did he think that the way the first passage framed it introduced an issue he wasn't sure he wanted to bring in? Was it a matter of the argument itself, i.e., did he waver about the cogency of the original, and then finally decide to rewrite it? We can probably make some progress with these questions -- for instance, that the passage eventually substituted is much more concise is perhaps evidence of something. But there will always be a limit. And the same limit is found everywhere, just less noticeably. We can know, to a considerable degree, how passages in philosophical texts fit into their context. But we don't always know much about why this way of saying things was chosen over that way of saying things -- indeed, we don't always know what 'that way of saying things' is at all. The production of a philosophical text is a process of selection, and we rarely get any peek at that. Even when we do, as in the above case, what the peek shows us is less the nature of the selection and more just how much we don't know about the selection. On the other side of the text is a philosophical mind; but we don't actually see anything of that mind except the final selected presentation (and sometimes a few pre-revision selected presentations). What we get is a simulation of the workings of the mind of Hume (or whomever else) on a particular set of points. It is, to be sure, a simulation that comes from the very mind whose thought it is simulating, and that can be quite important. But it's a simulation, a production in which the author does more to act on us than to show us himself (and some philosophical authors go to great lengths not to show themselves much). And I think that's a limit we cannot really overcome in HoP. We can, as I noted above, make some headway on the questions that arise. But there's always that limit.


As you might have guessed from previous posts, since it's the big news item at the moment, I've occasionally been browsing papacy-related material online in my break periods. There's an interesting article in the National Catholic Reporter which has a 1997 statement from Ratzinger on whether the Holy Spirit picks the Pope. His answer: Kind of, but in a sense not really: "There are too many popes the Holy Spirit would obviously not have picked."

Busy, Busy

I've been swamped with grading and other work, which is why the posts have been (relatively) few and largely uninteresting. It will pick up again in a few days.

Peirce Question

I recently came across a comment by Charles Peirce on the foundation of logic in an 'interest in an indefinite community', but I haven't been able to find the reference for it. Does anyone happen to have it?

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, Clark had it: he discusses it here.

One Problem with Blogs... that they are occasions for envy. I shall have to exercise a bit of self-discipline in this temptation....

Shocking Papal Headlines

This, from "Blimpish", is hilarious:

Tomorrow's Headlines, Today

(Hat-tip: NWW)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


* Descartes without the boring parts and Ici s'honore du titre de citoyen (which points out the Notes et Archives 1789-1794) at "Philosophical Fortnights"

* Baudrillard and the Matrix Trilogy at "postmodernism" (hat-tip: Mormon Metaphysics)

* Boys and Bikinis at "Wittingshire" (hat-tip: Razorskiss)

* If you ever lose Sharon Howard, you now know where to look.

* A good post on a point in Buddhism at Under the Sun

* For anyone interested in Bonaventure, Ratzinger's 1957 book The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure is a must-read. Alas, I can't find any selections from it online. Some people have suggested that part of Ratzinger's reaction to liberation theology is due to the ideas developed in his study of Bonaventure; and one could expect the same ideas to play a role in the Benedixt XVI papacy. For a very critical account of these ideas (with quotations from various works by Ratzinger), one can read the Society of St. Pius X's review of Ratzinger's memoirs:

The Memories of a Destructive Mind, Part I
The Memories of a Destructive Mind, Part II

That it is the Society of St. Pius X makes it very unsurprising that the review is critical, of course, but the review is interesting; and it is also interesting to remember that Ratzinger is sometimes criticized for not being conservative enough. A more favorable review of the memoirs is found at First Things.

* On a different note entirely, Rebecca at "Rebecca Writes" gives us John Knox's Dying Words. Coming Boldly to the Throne is also worth a reading.

* "" has a post on Total Depravity (hat-tip to the great Rebecca Stark herself)

The Panzer and the Hitler Youth

Eric Muller, in charging that Ratzinger has not been very truthful about his early involvement in the Hitler Youth:

• Membership in the Hitler Youth became compulsory in 1936, not 1941. Its compulsory nature was reinforced in 1939.

I've read all sorts of dates on this point. I found this interesting, however:

Q. This youth which one had to educate outside the schools was called the Hitler Youth, the HJ. Was membership in the Hitler Youth compulsory or voluntary?

A. The membership in the Hitler Youth was voluntary until 1936. In 1936, the law already mentioned concerning the HJ was issued which made all the German youth members of the HJ. The stipulations for the carrying out of that law, however, were issued only in March 1939, and only during the war, in May 1940, was the thought of carrying out a German youth order considered within the Reich Youth Leadership and discussed publicly. May I point out that my then deputy, Lauterbacher, at the time when I was at the front, stated in a public meeting - I believe at Frankfurt in 1940 - that now, after ninety-seven per cent of the youngest age group of youth had volunteered for the Hitler Youth, it would be necessary to draft the remaining three per cent by a youth order.

DR. SAUTER: In this connection, Mr. President, may I refer to two documents of the Document Book Schirach. No. 51 -

THE PRESIDENT: I did not quite understand what the defendant said. He said that the membership was voluntary until 1936, that the HJ Law was then passed, and something to the effect that the execution of the law was not published until 1939. Was that what he said?

DR. SAUTER: Yes, that is correct. Until 1936 - if I may explain that, Mr. President - membership in the Hitler Youth was absolutely voluntary. Then in 1936 the HJ Law was issued, which provided that boys and girls had to belong to the Hitler Youth. But the stipulations for its execution were issued by the defendant only in 1939 so that, in practice, until 1959 [I'm assuming that's a misprint for '1939--BW] the membership was nevertheless on a voluntary basis.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that right, defendant?

THE WITNESS: Yes, that is right.

Muller, in other words, seems to be making the mistake of assuming that the law is execution of the law (an odd one for someone as acquainted with law as Muller to make, it seems to me). There's still a question of how soon after the stipulations for execution were passed that the law was actually enforced, and what complications there may have been in the enforcement, and so forth. That would require further research. And there's ambiguity about the phrase "when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced" that Muller is not recognizing. Clearing that up would also require further research. But in any case Muller's listing of incorrect facts seem to me to be just the sort of thing that one would likely get wrong on the basis of memory, anyway, and of the sort of natural misdating that historians are very familiar with. I have difficulty remembering the year I came to Toronto without looking it up, and that was just six (I think) years ago. Where was I when I was fourteen? Pennsylvania, I think. But I would have to sit and mull it out to be absolutely certain. And I am certainly closer to fourteen than Ratzinger is. I would sympathize with Muller if he weren't just slinging around accusations about motives and inclinations without the sort of research that would actually be needed to back it up; but I don't see much of anything here at all. Muller certainly hasn't provided any real evidence that Ratzinger is somehow covering up anything.

UPDATE: Muller puts up an interesting passage from Kater's Hitler Youth. I'm not sure I see how it fits with his argument; does Muller have evidence he's not sharing that Ratzinger wasn't in the two percent? I'm having difficulty, I confess, following the line of Muller's argument. Sometimes he's critical of Ratzinger for not being 'truthful' about his youth; this is one issue. This is the most serious criticism, and the most important if true; it's also the one which would require the higher standard of evidence, which hasn't, as far as I can see, been met yet, and is certainly not met by Muller's focus on the ambiguous 'introduction' phrase. Sometimes he's critical of Ratzinger for not having resisted Nazi Germany at age fourteen; this is another issue. Sometimes he's critical of Ratzinger for saying resistance wasn't possible at that time; this is another issue. Sometimes he's critical of the conclave for having elected Ratzinger despite his attitude toward the events in the 1940s; this is another issue. I'm interested in the truth of the matter; but I'm still waiting for a plausible argument for some of these claims, particularly the first. [Added later: Muller has put up a post to clarify his position here. I think if one puts the issue in terms of moral responsibilities about what should or should not be remembered, Muller may have a stronger argument than his original framing of it in terms of 'untruthfulness' which requires a higher standard of evidence. I've begun to wonder if Muller really does have evidence for at least some of his claims that he hasn't had a chance to post yet; so we'll see how the discussion shapes up over the next few days.]

UPDATE: Alan Allport has started an interesting discussion about the complexities of defining resistance under an authoritarian regime at Cliopatria.

Vox Apologia XIV

The Fourteenth Vox Apologia Carnival is up. It has my Pascal's Wager post and two very good posts from Allthings2all:

* Place Your Bets - Pascal's Wager

* Pascal's Wager - A Different Kind of Cost Analysis

I especially recommend the first, because it looks at an aspect of the Wager (the issues about infinity and limitation) that I didn't look at in my post at all. The second makes an interesting link to Christ's words about saving one's soul.

(It's also worth noting that my post has received some interesting discussion at Mormon Metaphysics that's worth reading.)

Who'd've Thunk?

So Ratzinger is the new pope. Who would have thought? I knew he had support; but I doubted (as most people doubted -- admit it, you did too) that it was enough to get him elected. There are, I am sure, quite a few liberal Catholics around the world who are weeping now. And he has taken the name Benedict XVI; which means that the St. Malachy's prophecy people must be leaping for joy. Strange day.

Monday, April 18, 2005


As you know, the Conclave of Cardinals meets today to consider who will be the next pope.

Some interesting near-popes:

* Valentinus (c. 100 - c. 160): Valentinus, a Gnostic heretic, is at least an alleged near-pope; if I recall correctly, Tertullian writes somewhere that he had almost been elected bishop of Rome, at some point before he fell into heresy.

* Pedro de Luna (1328-1402): During the 1378 conclave, he was the Italian who was most likely to be Pope. Pedro de Luna voted for the man who was elected Pope Urban VI, but later was convinced that the election was invalid, and helped to elect and support the first anti-pope of the Avignon schism, Clement VII. He was elected the second Avignon pope: Benedict XIII.

* Johannes Bessarion (c. 1400-1472): Bessarion was one of the greats of the Italian Renaissance. One of the Greek bishops who was involved in the Council of Florence, he was made cardinal by Pope Eugenius IV.

* Hyacinthe Sigismond Gerdil (1718-1802): In the seventeenth century, certain Catholic nations claimed that they had a right to exclude a papal candidate (the veto could be used only once during the conclave). Gerdil, the last great Malebranchean, failed to be elected due to such a veto; the Germans didn't want a Frenchman on the papal throne. His best-known work is a defense of Malebranche against Locke. Needless to say, Gerdil is my favorite almost-pope.

* Mariano Rampolla (1843-1913): He was also vetoed, by the Austrians. The person who became pope instead, Pius X, ruled that any cardinal who put forward such an exclusion in papal elections in the future would be excommunicated. It was probably never stricly legal in the first place; who knows what a Gerdil or Imperiali or Rampolla papacy might have been if people had not simply gone along with it?

The Dragon Fears the Peredixion Tree

Browse The Medieval Bestiary. (Hat-tip: Medieval Bestiary Links, via Dictionary of Received Ideas.)

Augustine on the Utility of Believing

It is clear from various things that Pascal says (e.g., in fragment 234) that in the Wager argument he partly considers himself to be making an extension of an Augustinian point. Here's a passage from Augustine's De Utilitate Credendi that can be related to the Wager argument. De Utilitate Credendi is an argument against the Manichaeans, who attacked the Catholic faith for its emphasis on belief rather than certainty. It's a different argument than Pascal gives, but it clearly has some affinities, particularly in that it appears addressed to the same kind of person (the one who refuses to allow that believing without knowing is a genuine option), and in that it proceeds dialectically.

23. But you will say, consider now whether we ought to believe in religion. For, although we grant that it is one thing to believe, another to be credulous, it does not follow that it is no fault to believe in matters of religion. For what if it be a fault both to believe and to be credulous, as (it is) both to be drunk and to be a drunkard? Now he who thinks this certain, it seems to me can have no friend; for, if it is base to believe any thing, either he acts basely who believes a friend, or in nothing believing a friend I see not how he can call either him or himself a friend. Here perhaps you may say, I grant that we must believe something at some time; now make plain, how in the case of religion it be not base to believe before one knows. I will do so, if I can. Wherefore I ask of you, which you esteem the graver fault, to deliver religion to one unworthy, or to believe what is said by them who deliver it....Wherefore now suppose him present, who is about to deliver to you a religion, in what way shall you assure him, that you approach with a true mind, and that, so far as this matter is concerned, there is in you no fraud or feigning? You will say, your own good conscience that you are no way reigning, asserting this with words as strong as you can, but yet with words. For you cannot lay open man to man the hiding places of your soul, so that you may be thoroughly known. But if he shall say, Lo, I believe you, but is it not more fair that you also believe me, when, if I hold any truth, you are about to receive, I about to give, a benefit? what will you answer, save that you must believe?

24. But you say, Were it not better that you should give me a reason, that, wherever, that shall lead me, I may follow without any; rashness? Perhaps it were: but, it being so great a matter, that you are by reason to come to the knowledge of God, do you think that all are qualified to understand the reasons, by which the human soul is led to know God, or many, or few? Few I think, you say. Do you believe that you are in the number of these? It is not for me, you say, to answer this. Therefore you think it is for him to believe you in this also: and this indeed he does: only do you remember, that he hath already twice believed you saying things uncertain; that you are unwilling to believe him even once admonishing you in a religious spirit.

In some ways I find this a more interesting argument than Pascal's, although I think it more limited in nature (in part because it has in mind as its interlocutor a member of the Manichaean mystery religion -- which is the reason why Augustine frames the argument in terms of induction into a higher religious state -- rather than Pascal's man of the world). But in Augustine, as in Pascal, it is part of a larger argument, and Augustine goes on to point out the fact that we consider it unreasonable to believe only what is certain.

Pascal is also influenced by Montaigne, who argued that there is no a priori reason not to believe in the resurrection; the reason some people are inclined to disbelieve claims that someone has risen from the dead is simply habit, so people who think that in disbelieving the resurrection they are doing more than just holding a (less than certain) belief are deluding themselves. (Pascal makes a similar argument in one of the fragments.) The connection is that Augustine and Montaigne both, in different ways, argue that it is unreasonable to try to eliminate belief in favor of something more certain in some areas of life (because those areas do not admit of certainty). Pascal sees himself to be going beyond both Augustine and Montaigne on this point by laying out more clearly why it is unreasonable to reject belief out of hand.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yuck Factor

I found this post at "PEA Soup" interesting. I've dealt with similar issues before. I was very puzzled, however, by the following comment by Michael Cholbi:

First off, it seems to me that to make any sense at all of disgust playing a justificatory role in moral epistemology we have to think of it (and other cognate attitudes, emotions, etc.) as being a cognitive state, some sort of judgment or belief-like state with specific intentional content. Otherwise, it's hard to see how the emotions can be truth-apt, as Crispin Wright might say.

Perhaps I am just overly Humean, but this strikes me as utterly false. It is easy to find cases in which a justificatory role is played by something that's not a cognitive state. Necessity is the most obvious example. To borrow from Hume, if we recognize nature has determined us to judge as well as to breathe, it becomes very silly to ask in reply, "But what is our justification for judging?" If you can't not judge, any sense in which you need a further justification for doing it is just a bizarre sense, one we have no reason to take seriously. Disgust doesn't straightforwardly necessitate in this way. However, it is a fact of human nature that any moral epistemology has to take into account: human disgust affects moral reasoning. And what is more, it actually does play a justificatory role in human reasoning; people really do appeal to it to justify reasoning in particular ways. But even more than this, it appears that it is virtually inevitable that it do so (the incest example is a case in point). The only question, then, is not, "Does disgust play a justificatory role in our moral reasoning?" but "What justificatory role does it play, and what are the limits of this sort of justification?"

I also find the idea that truth-aptness requires a cognitive state to be rather strange in this context. The only sense of 'truth-apt' that I can see to be relevant for justification is 'makes it more likely for us to make true judgments'. There is nothing that is intrinsically truth-apt in this sense: even logical inference is not intrinsically truth-apt. Truth-aptness arises under particular conditions; and there appears to be no a priori reason why sentiments and passions could not, under certain conditions, make us more likely to make true judgments. The only question is: Under what conditions are they truth-apt? It can easily be seen that this is the same question asked above, in different words.


* A lecture on Divine Wisdom and Christian Humanism by Father Augustine DiNoia.

* Selections from Brain Dead Person by Masahiro Morioka (hat-tip: Fido the Yak). The basic idea is summarized in the essay, Two Aspects of Brain Dead Being, and the background is presented in an essay on the brain death debate in Japanese bioethics, Reconsidering Brain Death.

* Jacobi's Open Letter to Fichte (21 March 1799):

I maintain: the human being finds God because he can only find himself simultaneously with God; and he is unfathomable to himself because the essence of God is necessarily unfathomable. Necessarily! Because otherwise a super-godly capacity would have to reside in the human being, and God would have to be able to be invented by the human being. God would then only be a thought of the finite, an imagined being, and certainly not the highest being, existing solely in itself, the free creator of all other beings, the beginning and the end. That is not the way it is, and for that reason the human being loses himself as soon as he resists finding himself in God as his creator in a manner inconceivable to his reason; as soon as he wants to base himself in himself alone. Everything then gradually dissolves before him into his own Nothingness. But a human being has this choice, a single one: Nothingness or a God.

(Hat-tip: The 4th Century)

* A consequentialist fortune cookie at "Mumblings of a Platonist"

* Theological Thursdays: Knowing God: God Unchanging at "Beyond the Rim"

Another Scribble


You have heard that the Phoenix
dies the death of bright fire,
fierce flames of great burning,
feeding a mortal desire.
You have heard that fine feathers,
red-gold, are thus turned
to an ash of blackened dust
when the Phoenix is burned,
and that amid deathly ash
the egg of great price
breaks, weakened by the flame,
that the Phoenix may rise.
You have heard of all this,
but have you heard that they say
that the Phoenix in the morning
sings the song of the Way?
What a wondrous song!
For no other can compare
in sweetness and glory,
in order most fair!
For the truth is but this:
the Phoenix-made flame
is the falling of morals
and the mixing of names.
But when the Phoenix comes forth
in a birthing of light,
the Way is returned
and the names are made right
by the voice of its singing,
beyond even nightingale:
a sign of great surety
that the Way shall not fail!

Don't forget to visit the Second Poetry Carnival below.