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Poesis (Ancient Greek: ) is etymologically derived from the ancient term , which

means "to make". This word, the root of our modern "poetry", was first a verb, an action that
transforms and continues the world.[citation needed] Neither technical production nor creation in the romantic
sense, poetic work reconciles thought with matter and time,[citation needed] and person with the world.[citation
needed]

It is also used as a suffix, as in the biological term hematopoiesis, the formation of blood cells.

[citation needed]

There are two forms of poiesis: Autopoiesis and Allopoiesis


Practopoiesis is a theory of adaptive organization of living systems in which autopoiesis of
an organism or a cell occurs through allopoiesis among its components. The components are
organized into a poietic hierarchy; one component creates another. In the brain this hierarchy leads
to e.g., the capability of learning to learn.[1]
In the Symposium (a Socratic dialogue written by Plato), Diotima describes how mortals strive for
immortality in relation to poiesis. In all begetting and bringing forth upon the beautiful there is a kind
of making/creating or poiesis. In this genesis there is a movement beyond the temporal cycle of birth
and decay. "Such a movement can occur in three kinds of poiesis: (1) Natural poiesis through sexual
procreation, (2) poiesis in the city through the attainment of heroic fame, and, finally, (3) poiesis in
the soul through the cultivation of virtue and knowledge." [2]
Whereas Plato, according to the Timaeus, regards physis as the result of poiesis, viz. the poiesis of
the demiurge who creates from ideas, Aristotle considers poiesis as an imitation of physis. In short,
the form or idea, which precedes the physis, contrasts with the living, which is the innate principle or
form of self-motion. In other words, the technomorphic paradigm contrasts with the biomorphic; the
theory of nature as a whole with the theory of the living individual.[3]
Martin Heidegger refers to it as a 'bringing-forth' (phusis as emergence), using this term in its widest
sense. He explained poiesis as the blooming of the blossom, the coming-out of a butterfly from a
cocoon, the plummeting of a waterfall when the snow begins to melt. The last two analogies
underline Heidegger's example of a threshold occasion: a moment of ecstasis when something
moves away from its standing as one thing to become another. (These examples may also be
understood as the unfolding of a thing out of itself, as being discloses or gathers from nothing [thus
nothing is thought also as being]). Additional example: The night gathers at the close of day.
In literary studies, at least two fields draw on the etymology of poiesis: ecopoetics and zoopoetics.
As "eco" derives from the root "oikos" meaning "house, home, or hearth," then ecopoetics explores

how language can help cultivate (or make) a sense of dwelling on the earth. Zoopoetics explores
how animals (zoo) shape the making of a text.
In their 2011 academic book, All Things Shining, Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly conclude
that embracing a "meta-poietic" mindset is the best, if not the only, method to authenticate meaning
in our secular times: "Meta-poiesis, as one might call it, steers between the twin dangers of the
secular age: it resists nihilism by reappropriating the sacred phenomenon of physis, but cultivates
the skill to resist physis in its abhorrent, fanatical form. Living well in our secular, nihilistic age,
therefore, requires the higher-order skill of recognizing when to rise up as one with the ecstatic
crowd and when to turn heel and walk rapidly away." [4]
Furthermore, Dreyfus and Dorrance Kelly urge each person to become a sort of "craftsman" whose
responsibility it is to refine their faculty for poiesis in order to achieve existential meaning in their
lives and to reconcile their bodies with whatever transcendence there is to be had in life itself: "The
task of the craftsman is not to generate the meaning, but rather to cultivate in himself the skill
for discerning the meanings that are already there."[5]