When in a philosophical context we refer to the relation of philosophy and poetry, the first thing that comes to mind is the condemnation of poets in Plato's Republic on behalf of morality, truth and justice. According to Plato, artists lie, and their lie is all the more dangerous the greater their talent. Artists pretend; they make look real what is not. Of all the artists, the most dangerous is the poet because his tool is the word, and the word is the expression of logos par excellence. But the poetic word can be irrational. For this reason poetry commits the highest betrayal: it deceives reason using her own instrument.
The source of the poetic word is inspiration and this may mean that the poet is only a vehicle, so that he cannot be held responsible for what he says. It is as if the word had been placed at the service of something else that comes to inhabit the poet and owns his mind. The poetic word is thus the result of delirium, the absence of self, while the philosophical word is quite the opposite: it is a word of thought—contention—the result of a life lived in a continuous alert state, always watching, never sleeping.
Nonetheless, the systematic and abstracting procedure philosophy has assumed results in its incapacity to nourish human life. The philosophical quest for truth has entered into a collision route with life. The quest for pure truth humiliates life. Life is not only reason but passion, among many other things. Truth needs to make life fall in love with it.
Perhaps it is necessary in philosophical practice to come back to that initial moment common to both: the moment of wonder. Reason alone is incapable of passing through the shadow territories where philosophy now must enter. Therefore, the heart, as a rhythmic organ, suggests a new way of philosophizing, a way that unites philosophy and poetry that María Zambrano, with rigour and beauty, calls poetic reason.