Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Parmenides' Vision

I wrote this yesterday in the library, when I should have been doing revisions on a paper. It's based, very loosely, on Parmenides' work On Nature; and when I say 'loosely', I mean very loosely.

Parmenides' Vision

Rapt, thrown upward, undone,
In ecstatic vision seeking vital clue,
I journeyed to the well-spoken path;
She came:
Great gold-winged goddess, chariot-driven,
More splendid far than Cyprian goddess
On sands made manifest to Anchises' son.
She came,
And, speaking, said to my dreaming ears:
Two ways lie before you; one is true, one appears,
Both gated, and above the former
The message of the gods shines forth
Like the words above the Delphic road,
Holy:
What is, is, and is not what is not.
Upon that path lies your way, said she,
The way of truth and not of seeming;
What appears will pass, but the real remains,
And wisdom's lover finds his sweet relief
In what is.
Then the fleeting, swift-footed, gold-winged goddes
Was gone, and I amazed.

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