Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Poem a Day 9

Quasi Universale Vitia

To love the excellent and thus excel,
to know autonomy and choose at will,
to be all one can be and be it well,
to follow after conscience, drink one's fill
of satisfaction's bright and shining thrill,
to be not slave but free, to live untamed:
such pretty words to hide our sins from blame!


This ends a poem cycle on the seven capital vices that spring from pride. The idea was, in rime royal stanzas, to give a picture of the temptation of the vice in six lines, why one would incline toward it, and in the seventh to pin the vice itself by simply redescribing the same thing. This was fairly easy to do with the vices based on over-exalting positive goods, with which I started, but got much harder with the vices that involve treating genuine goods as if they were bad. (I think acedia, #6, ended up being my weakest one.) The cycle started with pride as queen of vices, then vainglory, then gluttony, then lust, then avarice, then acedia, then wrath, then envy, then, above, to sum up the whole, pride again in the form of being a sort of universal vice, the viciousness in every vice, so to speak.

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