…Under the Sun

I was reading the newest post by Richard Fernandez regarding how upside down our world has become, which echoes my lament of a few days ago, “Irreconcilable Philosophical Differences.” I was so pissed off I forgot to follow through on what I meant by Irreconcilable Philosophical Differences. Won’t happen tonight either, but… in the Belmont Club comments, one of the contributors named Roughcoat 2, wrote of the past, which perfectly captured my sense of things today (though for the record, I am so glad to be alive and to have been born):

“There truly is nothing new under the sun, including the sense that the pillars have fallen. Hesiod, writing in the seventh-sixth century BC, lamented a similar state of affairs:

Far-seeing Zeus then made another race,
The fifth who now live on the fertile earth.]
I wish I were not of this race, that I
Had died before, or had not yet been born.
This is the race of iron. Now, by day,
Men work and grieve unceasingly; by night,
They waste away and die. The gods will give
Harsh burdens, but will mingle in some good.
Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men,
When babies shall be born with greying hair.
Father will have no common bond with son
Neither will guest with host, nor friend with friend
The brother-love of past days will be gone. . . .
Men will destroy the towns of other men.
The just, the good, the man who keeps his word
Will be despised, but men will praise the bad
And insolent. Might will be right and shame
Will cease to be. Men will do injury
To better men by speaking crooked words
And adding lying oathes, and everywhere
Harsh-voiced and sullen-faced and loving harm,
Envy will walk along with wretched men.”

5 thoughts on “…Under the Sun

  1. I find that comforting, somehow. That every perspective has been here before, and will be here again; the bad and the good, the swindling and the angelic. If we have handled it before we will do so again.Fabulous poem.

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    • Kate, it was a good poem! And I like your take. I remember visiting Pompei and the “cave paintings” of sexual scenes back in 1974 at age 19. We had to bribe the guard – it was a lucrative position for him as everyone “bribed” him. I came out laughing as we thought we were so advanced and those guys were at least our equal if not far more creative. 🙂

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  2. Hunt, This is an interesting post and scary at the same time. The possibility that there could be no more original thought, that all the thoughts have been used up and processed, Makes pondering a question mark. In the past I have so enjoyed moments of ponder. Take care, Bill

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    • Bill, I would sorrow if that were so! It is more a revelation that our ancestors linger and whisper so clearly in our heads if we would but listen so not to have to reinvent the wheel.

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