Neither angels nor animals

“I said, ‘we were not stocks and stones’–’tis very well. I should have added, nor are we angels, I wish we were,–but men clothed with bodies, and governed by our imaginations.”
-Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
In medieval times, there was this concept of the Great Chain of Being: “a powerful visual metaphor of a divinely inspired universal hierarchy ranking all forms of higher and lower life”. We human beings are trapped between the state of angels above and animals below. While we have the minds to transcend our immediate bodies, we are still constrained by our physical limitations. And often it is this ‘human condition’ of possessing both the divine and the bestial that has captured the imagination of so many writers, poets, artists, and composers and kept them busy creating for so long.
Clothed in our bodies and governed by our imaginations…

~ by irwin on December 15, 2005.

One Response to “Neither angels nor animals”


    One of my favourite Emily Dickinson poems. Just found it so thought I’d share it with u like you asked for my favorites.

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