The Poets

March 15, 2010

Poetic Fragment- Cleanthes

Conduct me Zeus, and thou, O Destiny,
Wherever your decrees have fixed my lot.
I follow cheerfully; and, did I not,
Wicked and wretched, I must follow still.


Of the Poem (Quote):

This is a quote by Cleanthes that Epictetus employs in one of his works, the Enchiridion.

Despite the fatalistic imports, I love this quote and apply it with Providence in mind. Indeed, despite the pantheistic philosophical perspective endorsed by them, I love the Stoics (especially Epictetus).

Poetic Parameters:

Stanza: Quatrain
Meter: Pentameter
Rhyme Scheme: x.a.a.x. (where 'x' represents unrhymed lines- essentially an
Italian quatrain)

Note: I've studied philosophy for roughly 17 years, and I find it incredible, each day, how closely connected and influenced I was by poetry through my philosophical studies- and this without my complete awareness of the matter.

1 comment:

John W. May said...


The poem is based on the translation of Thomas Wentworth Higginson; the book, Classics Club.

Higginson, a historical figure in his own right, is for me the best translator of Epictetus I've come to know.

I've always loved the Classics Club series ... many a good work there ...

As of April 9th, 2010