If you’ve listened to our Danto episode, our Republic episode or read any Plato yourself you know that the Big P didn’t have a high regard for poetry. If you’ve listened to anything we’ve done over the last year, you know Mark doesn’t have a high regard for my blog posting efforts. I do start posts, but often times find the zeitgeist has passed before I’m done (I think and write really really slowly). So here’s something to hit on both sore points: a poem about Plato’s cave!
More Sonnets At Christmas IV
Gay citizen, myself, and thoughtful friend,
Your ghosts are Plato’s Christians in the cave.
Unfix your necks, turn to the door; the nave
Gives back the cheated and light dividend
So long sequestered; now, new-rich, you’ll spend
Flesh for reality inside a stone
Whose light obstruction, like a gossamer bone,
Dead or still living, will not break or bend.
Thus light, your flesh made pale and sinister
And put off like a dog that’s had his day,
You will be Plato’s kept philosopher,
Albino man bleached from the mortal clay,
Mild-mannered, gifted in your master’s ease
While the sun squats upon the waveless seas.
I won’t pretend to have grasped the meaning but it is cool to hear him read it in his old school southern accent. Better than reading it on the page for sure. The same series has a prior episode on Billy Collins, who was Poet Laureate for the United States from 2001-2003, reading his poem Aristotle. Also very much worth a listen.