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The Poets

May 27, 2014

A Lowly Rose


The clouds are dear, or so to most,
Who stroll the vaulted blue like ghosts …
Drifting free and free of woes-
So calm their gentle, placid host!

But I prefer the lowly rose,
Whose fragrance woos the willing nose …
Tethered there, yet beauty clad,
And much more lovely, I propose.

-jwm


Of the Painting: 

 The painting was done by my absolute favorite artist, John William Waterhouse. He was a part of the later period of the pre-Raphaelites, and the painting is called, My Sweet Rose (or, The Soul of a Rose). This is my daughter's favorite painting of his- or at least it was a long time ago.

May 23, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe and Words




My daughter asked me what my favorite quote was and I told her I have too many to pick from. She told me to pick one and I did, then I asked her what hers was … without missing a beat she said: “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” Wow! She told me these were the words of Edgar Allan Poe. Sweet! 


May 12, 2014

Gothic Madness



 
Imagination Askew

The mind, by images misplaced,
In fantasy dwells blind and deep-
The dreamy lies it conjures up
Like lithium puts it to sleep.

-jwm

May 05, 2014

On Thales and His Fall






Thales

Quod est ante pedes nemo spectat, caeli scrutantur plagas

-Cicero

… and he was fixed on Pleiades,
Who moved across the tranquil night-
Her glinting gown, though hard to see,
Had lured him to her precious sight.

He plotted, mapped her silent course,
Made measurement of where she fled.
Her beauty, that compelling force,
It had him stroll whereso she led.

And led he was through starry dark-
Through midnight glade and hill and dell-
Til suddenly, without a mark,
A pit appeared and Thales fell.

-jwm



Question: 

Thales (pronounced ‘thay-lees’) is a pre-Socratic philosopher and polymath who endeavored to know as much as he could about the natural world, including heavenly bodies- a Thoreau on steroids, if you will. 

This fable of him stumbling into a pit because of his passionate fixation on celestial bodies was first expressed by Socrates in Plato’s dialogue, Theaetetus. Socrates says there, “While he was studying the stars and looking upwards, he fell into a pit, and a neat, witty Thracian servant girl jeered at him, they say, because he was so eager to know the things in the sky that he could not see what was there before him at his very feet.” 

There is a moral to this story, and many have given a positive statement with regard to Thales’ heavenly fixation (and stumbling), and many a negative one. I am so dying to hear your interpretation of the moral of this particular fable, and of the poem. Please, for God’s love, bless me with your opinion (there are no right or wrong answers) ...

The above quote in Latin, given by Cicero, is rendered in English: ‘No one regards what is before his feet when searching out the regions of the sky.’


 

As of April 9th, 2010