Thursday, 19 July 2012

"Plato in His Twilit Cave"

The "peripatetic Stagyrite" is Aristotle.

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Plato in his twilit cave
Spoke loudly to the people there;
The hypnotising bonfire roared
And flung their shadows on the wall.
They watched entranced despite his call
And cheered their shadows as they soared;
He turned towards the open air
And sought the truth the sunlight gave.

The peripatetic Stagyrite
Stood doubled up in shallow pools
Thinking upon the little fish
And the power which all the heavens moves.
But what is it that thinking proves?
Truth is like wine within a dish
Which riots in the heads of fools
Who sit beside the road to write.

Plotinus on his deathbed lay
And struggled for his final breath.
A snake which slithered from a hole
Sang sweetly of the joy of life
And glistened like an unsheathed knife.
The dying man unloosed his soul
And shook the curtain of his death
Disproving what the snake might say.

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© Prob. Late 1980

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