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The Poets

May 09, 2009

Italian Quatrain

I see the rolling thunderous approach
As loam emanates from cemented ground;
I see synapsing clouds devoid of sound,
And am jubilantly without reproach.

-jwm


Of the Poem:

Friends and I hiked Mount Sherman last June. The night prior to the hike, when we arrived at the hotel, there on the horizon was a cloud that resembled what I might imagine the aftermath of a nuclear blast to be. It was beautiful (picture above). The following week while it rained I was studying Epictetus (a Stoic philosopher), and read:

"Remember God. Invoke him for your aid and protector, as sailors do Castor and Pollux, in a storm. For what storm is greater than that which arises from these perilous semblances, contending to overturn our reason? Indeed, what is the storm itself, but a semblance? For do but take away the fear of death, and let there be as many thunders and lightnings as you please, you will find that to the reason all is serenity and calm..."

The idea for, and imagery of, the above quatrain emerged from these two events. It's because Epictetus was a Roman citizen that I decided to render this quatrain Italian. I know it's just a stanza, but it's riddled with the perfect amount of Stoic symbolism.

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As of April 9th, 2010