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,
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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