The following has been taken from Speech and Drama by Rudolf Steiner:
The hexameter is a verse of six feet, generally five dactyls followed by a spondee (or trochee).
It was first written in the heroic epics of Homer (‘The Iliad’ etc.) in the times of ancient Greece.
In hexameter the breathing and the pulse-beat become harmoniously synchronized. In it lives a musicality that bears witness to the extraordinary cosmic lawfulness out of which the human being is built. In Art and Artistic Cognition , pages 178-179, Rudolf Steiner says:
‘We breathe in 18 times a minute on the average. That is 25920 times in 24 hours or one day. If the average life expectancy is 70-71 years, although may people live to be older– a day in the world for human beings – it makes 25920 days. The world breathes us in and out and we are born and die.
Look at the Platonic year of the sun. The sun enters into a certain Zodiac sign. In ancient days the sun started off in Taurus, then in Aries, now in the Fishes. The spring equinox appears to go ( I must say ‘appears’, but that isn’t the point) around the whole heavens , shifts around and comes back again in precisely 25920 years. …You see, we are a part of the world rhythm…’
Not without reason does one speak of ‘the feet’ in a line of verse. Many of the hexameters included here are marked so the lines can be ‘walked’, including one step in the middle of the line and one step between each line. In such a way one can step in harmony with cosmic breathing. This is an intrinsically healing experience that strengthens the human being.
Prose exists for communication; and we have the task to see how prose can still fulfil its purpose when we have consciously restored style to those elements in it that are tending to lose style altogether.
What is it must enter into our speaking when we are telling something? The reason our prose has become styleless is of course that it sets out merely to tell and nothing more. That has been the tendency all through. Prose has always tended to get away from art; it is a cultural activity of the head, – which is as much as to say, a cultural activity totally lacking in art. What then must narration try to do, in what direction must it turn if it wants still to fulfil its part as narration, and at the same time evince an artistic quality?
For narrating we make use of the senses and the understanding, which belong to the head. Consequently prose has perforce to express itself in such form as the head can provide. It should, however, also be continually making the effort to reach out with what has been perceived by the head and let it take hold of the arms, and more especially of the legs. Then in the rendering of epic (and epic exists to tell and narrate), the sort of pointed style that belongs to the head becomes modified by the attempt to seize hold of the legs, – no occasion of course to do so literally, with brute force!
And this is exactly what has happened in the hexameter, and with marvellous success. For what is the hexameter? The distinguishing feature of it is that, having set out to be the verse for communication and narrative, it seizes upon the legs and brings their rhythm into the verse. Not without reason do we speak of the ‘feet’ in a line of verse. And you will have no true experience of the hexameter until you can feel that besides speaking it, you can also step it.
Recitations, such as the following hexameters are best spoken with the help of a teacher or therapist. Exploring The Word in Colour and Speech has been conceived for such a purpose. In recitation, one can imbue the speech with colour moods to help convey the pictures. Please contact Katherine Rudolph at firstname.lastname@example.org for more about one-to-one and group sessions.
The rainbow!…I feel within me a mood of pray: that is how the rainbow begins, in the most intense violet, that goes shimmering out and out into immeasurable distances. The violet goes over into blue, – the restful, quiet mood of the soul. That again goes over into green. When we look up to the green arc of the rainbow, it is as though our soul were poured out over all the sprouting and blossoming of Nature’s world. It is as though, in passing from violet and blue into green, we had come away from the Gods to whom we were praying, and now in the green were finding ourselves in a world that opens the door to wonder, opens the door to a sensitive sympathy and antipathy with all that is around us. If you have already drunk in the green of the rainbow, you are already on the way to understanding all the beings and things of the world. Then you pass on to yellow, and in yellow you feel firmly established in yourself, you feel you have the power to be man in the midst of Nature, – that is, to be something more than the rest of Nature around you. And when you go over to orange, then you feel your own warmth, the warmth that you carry within you; and at the same time you are made sensible of many a shortcoming in your character, and of good points too. Going on them to red, where the other edge of the rainbow passes once again into the vast distances of Nature, your soul will overflow with joy and exultation, with ardent devotion, and with love to all mankind.
A METAMORPHOSIS OF PROBLEM SOLVING
(Adolescent to Adult)
Katherine Rudolph – Dornach, January 2004
The poem is in the ancient Greek rhythm called hexameter and is beneficial to the breathing, bringing harmony and balance. (Please note the underlined which is the accents representing the longs of the long short short. (Dactylus) rhythm. The idea of reincarnation Is inherent in ‘Problem Solving’.
|A Metamorphosis of Problem Solving* (the seed)
The Thoughts (the leaves)
The Ways and Means
(the fruit to new seed)
|1. Many the problems involved in the realm of decisions and judgements
Many specific dilemmas, may appear confront individuals.
People, who have understanding, facilitate human relations.
Basically three types of questions arise for our consideration:
How to provide for each other, the needs of the one, and the many;
How to conceive and develop new impulses and apply talents.
How to respect rights of groups, and deal fairly with people’s intentions.
Motives are not always pure, so that selfishness, greed and ambition
Often impede growth of freedom, economy, spirit and justice.
Other dilemmas involve situ ations that newly approach us.
In all the regions of human endeavour we need transformation.
People who, speaking together, seek answers, and certain solutions.
Might well observe how the plant metamorphoses its generation –
How it proceeds to build up to a rhythmical process of growing.
2. Now let the seed of perception be kindled, becoming awakened
First to the facts of the matter, involving description and statements.
This is like stretching out roots, to discover which angles are offered.
What is the lay of the land? Do the facts all remain near the surface?
Must we research a bit deeper to penetrate all the dimensions?
In such a way do the questions, which may tend to cause consternation,
Live in a process of change, a methodical path of discovery.
3. Once all the facts have been gathered, an effort of will shall be needed.
Thoughts and ideas emerge, bearing light to continue the questing.
Mutual sharing of concepts, and facts can bring forth contemplation.
Certainly there’s a relation involving both giving and taking;
Just as the seedling can thrive by exchanging its balancing forces,
Constantly regenerating first roots, and then new growth of foliage.
Always go back to the roots, which evoke the new thoughts meant to ponder.
Once the ideas unfold, as the leaves round the theme of a question;
Balance begins to take place, like the burgeoning structure of plant life.
What are the qualities viewed? What patterns of thought are apparent?
Do they arise on one stem, which may point to the needed solution?
Or do they branch out in tangents, like bushes, with various aspects.
Patience is needed, for not, all the thoughts will eventually ripen.
Positive discrimination will weed out unthinkable error.
4. Following step after step, one arrives at the transformation.
Building up trains of clear thought, the right goal or objective approaches.
This is the budding solution, decision, or determination.
Burning to open the field, and to offer incentive for action.
Now, to unfold the ideals, and pursue the decision’s potential…
Doubts may appear, quite like rain clouds: can such high ideals become real?
Weather this downpour as well, like a flower that blooms to effulgence;
Colourful after the rain, determined to live in the meadow!
5. Just as the petals spread out to reveal to the bee, sensing nectar,
Where it may centre its efforts, allowing the fertilization,
Action of nature’s survival – to follow its course to fruition;
So may a certain extension be needed to find ways and manners.
Technical means of assistance may help carry through the decision.
Then comes the moment of triumph the fruiting of composite efforts.
When one can say that the deed, is accomplished; the problem’s been conquered.
Something new lives in the world for a working solution exists now;
Has been devised or invented, to care for the problem’s recurrence –
Be it a law, or a system, a community plan or endeavour
Or a solution affecting an individual’s problem.
Root, leaf and flower, and fruit have provided an organized outlook,
Models from which to proceed to retrace the essential procedure.
6. Seeds are inherent in fruits; and recorded within their existence,
All of the steps are entailed which imprint their essential progression.
So, in the solving of problems, in each of those participating,
Mutual memory pictures exist metamorphosing talents:
Faculties to do the research, have thoughts and arrive at decisions.
These, carried out to fruition can help evolve human existence.
*Inspired by: J W Goethe’s Metamorphosis of the Plant; Rudolf Steiner’s Threefold Social Order; Les Bos: Urteilbildung in Gruppen, Written by Katherine Rudolph
from Metamorphosis of the Plant
J W Goethe
1. All of the forms have a likeness yet none quite resembles another.
Thus is a hidden law revealed from a view of the whole.
Closely observe how the plant little by little progressing
Step by step guided on changes to blossom and fruit.
2. First from the seed it unravels itself as soon as the silent
Fruit bearing womb of the earth gives way to let it emerge;
And, to the weave of the light’s eternal varying motion
Offers the delicate leaves that the plant now begins to unfold.
See, how the root leaf and seed still void of colour and shapeless
Upwards seek now to strive trusting mild vaporous air.
3. Yet ever simple remains the first form once it’s engendered
Soon a new leaf surges forth arising as out of the last.
Spiralling node upon node all repeat the original pattern
Yet are not wholly alike; each following leaf that emerges
Generates always anew and appears in more intricate form.
Longer, indented in points and, in its parts more divided.
4. Nature proceeds now to reign and subdues her expansive array,
Seeking for gentler refinements and growth to more perfect an end
Soon the sprouting of leaf upon leaf is checked and contracted
So that the rib of the stalk becomes all the fuller in form.
Ranged in a circle, in numbers that first appear few and then countless
Gather the smaller-sized leaves close to the sides of their like.
Round the new axis compressed the sheltering calyx arises;
And as to fashion the crown brilliant-hued coronets form.
See how the many hued leaf has felt its creator’s own hand?
5. Figures are swift to appear now the tenderest yet to emerge
Twofold at first they unite as destined ones meeting to ripen
Lovingly stand they in beautiful pairs and bounteous union,
Gathered in countless array there where the altar is raised.
6. Presently paralleled out are numberless seeds to be swelling
Sweetly concealed in the womb where is made perfect the fruit
Thus in a circle does nature enclose the ring of her forces
Now shall a new plant come forth to follow the one gone before it.
Translated by Katherine Rudolph