This is probably the poem of mine that I am most proud of. It’s riddled with flaws, yes, but I think it has a little merit, too. Either way, I thought I’d like to share it here. I already posted it on my YouTube channel.
It’s my reading of Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 (in the Bible, if you don’t know what I’m going on about) in the light of my Epicurean mindset (as in Epicurus). Like all poems, this one is abandoned not “finished” (that is, I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked until I just stopped and never went back to it).
After Reading Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Again
by Bryan A. J. Parry
The reason Nature seems to test mankind
With cold and stone-hard stares, and unmoved mind,
Is just to make him see what’s plainly true:
He’s like an animal, nay, is one too.
You don’t believe me? Why then, let’s just think.
As man is born, so is the beast, then blink
Your eyes, and both have died, caught in some snare,
Or else disfigured far beyond repair
So soon thereafter breathe the final breath,
Dispatched to earth, the source of life and death.
So man has no advantage o’er his brother,
As wretched death claims one, he claims the other.
Did I say “wretched”? Actually, it’s worse.
The brilliant mind of man can seem a curse;
Illumination, yes, but searing heat,
So awestruck man performs a wondrous feat:
He stoops, then squints, and fumbles in the gloom,
So hastening through his misery his doom.
But animals, whose brains are dim, live thus:
They flit, they drink, they eat: no sordid fuss.
A man of reason can’t conceal his mirth:
Poor man is heaven-bound, yet beast to earth!?
Kind Nature’s given beasts to simple pleasures.
If only man would use his mind: it measures
Out every thing that he could ever need.
They are: to flit, to drink, to love, to feed.
This recognition of kind Nature’s goal
Produces gladness, elevates man’s soul;
The joy and pleasure transcend mortal frame:
This soaring spirit ills can never tame.
featured image edited from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jMyo8OMjLcI/TbbH-mcqRhI/AAAAAAAAA2U/lRaYT6u5_9k/s1600/kjv1611.jpg
© Bryan A. J. Parry