Tag Archives: impatience

Pure Plato

Blame Plato with his shadows on the wall.
There was, then, a firmness to it
and it was my way to have it that way:
done right, right away.
It was all ‘blood-in-the-bone’ I know—
what can’t be justified with that?
But now that I am here at the end,
as God is my witness, it has humbled me.

How do you let go of the water that’s flowed
when the water that’s flowed has gone dry?
How do you say yes when you’ve always said no
and you don’t even know the why?
And when do you stop paying
when the loan is past due—
the principal gone missing,
the interest a debt double owed?

Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow/Idon’tknow
and I doubt if ever I will—
too many nights have passed me by
here in the dark of my cave.
Tell Plato to figure it out with the shadows on his.

This poem banks on the reader knowing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which holds that there is often a deeper reality to what we perceive is happening.

I think we all feel, as we get older, like one of the prisoners freed from the cave who can, with age, better perceive the forces, effects, and consequences of their own life. It is not always necessarily a happy thing to know, but at least it is the best truth we have. At least to that point; at least as best we can see it; at least as sure as we can feel it. Life moves, it all moves, we move with it and we carry on.

Thank you for reading Pure Plato. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

PS: Sorry that I have not been posting much of late. You may be thinking that all the big words in, and the length of, the long essay for my previous 9/11 post tired out my poor, wittle brain, and you may just be right. But I am also very busy these days with an evening course that I am taking from Kent State, and until today, Lyn and I have had the bounty of hosting our daughter and granddaughter…which has just been a wonderful, marvelous time. Oh, and I bought a new banjo. Hey, life.

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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You Ulysses

Collectam ex Ilio pubem,
collectam exilio pubem.

A people from Troy,
a people for exile,
and all of us now lost, lonely children.
You Ulysses, hero Ulysses,
you are the most wicked of all!
You call yourself a lover
but with your anger
you’ve built not one horse
but a thousand.
Now do you see
how you’ve breached the walls
you built to protect us?

Depending on your background, collectam ex Ilio pubem/collectam exilio pubem (a people from Troy/a people for exile) is either a Latin grammatical mistake or a very good pun. Since the Romans thought of themselves as the surviving exiles from Troy, I thought of it as the start for a poem.

Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey (and the other fragments we have of the story—for example, the trick with the Trojan horse is not from Homer) are some of the oldest epic poetry we have and are so fundamental to our sense of cultural self that they are still a source of inspiration.

Being a parent is not easy, but everyone does as best they can. No parent is perfect and your ability is often a reflection of how you were raised as a child. So in the end, we are all, sometimes, lost, lonely children.

Thank you for reading You Ulysses. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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