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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: All's well that ends well, , Greeks, , John Keats, ODE ON A GRECIAN URN, , , , , , , , ,   

    GRECIAN EARNS PLATO’S PLAUDITS; ‘REMAINS’ SILENT 

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty — that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
    –John Keats, from ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

    On this day in February, 399 BC (according to onthisday.com) occurred the fateful trial of the famed Grecian philosopher Socrates, of whom it is said that he didn’t put anything in writing during his lifetime — or even afterward, for that matter. This might lead one to think he was either paranoid or illiterate. By all odes, however, he was neither — otherwise his life/trial/death-by-hemlock would have earned him no esteem….and in theory, the following quotes attributed to Socrates might have been not only recorded by, but credited to, Plato (as well as others Greek to me):

    Wisdom begins in wonder.

    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    To find yourself, think for yourself.

    By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.

    I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

    But why should Plato and a few of his fellow G(r)eeks get all the credit for handing down what Socrates supposedly said? I may not be quite as ancient as they, but I go back far enough to be able to confide with the utmost confidence that Socrates never denied saying the following:

    Wisdom begins in wonder….and ends the same way.

    There’s no fool like an old fool. (On the other hand, some of us “old fools” prefer to think of ourselves as misanthropically eccentric seniors.)

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. (Or, you could just pay your electric bill on time.)

    My wife would talk to a wooden Indian. (That’s why I keep a wooden Indian around the house.)

    All’s well that ends well. (Well, I don’t know about that….but I suppose if it was good enough for the doomed Socrates, it’s good enough for the likes of Shakespeare and mistermuse.)

    THE END

     

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:33 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What the long-suffering Socrates actually said about wives, according to Xenophon (Symp. 2.10):
      “If that is your view, Socrates,” asked Antisthenes, “how does it come that you don’t practise what you preach by yourself educating Xanthippe, but live with a wife who is the hardest to get along with of all the women there are—yes, or all that ever were, I suspect, or ever will be?”

      “Because,” he replied, “I observe that men who wish to become expert horsemen do not get the most docile horses but rather those that are high-mettled, believing that if they can manage this kind, they will easily handle any other. My course is similar. Mankind at large is what I wish to deal and associate with; and so I have got her, well assured that if I can endure her, I shall have no difficulty in my relations with all the rest of human kind.”

      These words, in the judgment of the guests, did not go wide of the mark.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 8:20 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse are you saying that Socrates was like Yogi in that he didn’t say all the things people say he said? Or was it just that there was no pen and paper as yet and he didn’t feel like hammering away with a chisel and a piece of stone? He thought it was just to crude.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 8:29 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Linnet — I appreciate your very interesting comment.

      From what I’ve read (admittedly limited) of the writings of Plato and Xenophon re Socrates, Plato’s were the more brilliant/less literal, and Xenophon’s the more prosaic….so, assuming that the latter took fewer or no liberties with Socrates’ words, “What the long-suffering Socrates actually said about wives” was indeed on the mark. However, whatever the “By all means, marry” quote lost in translation, length-and-literatim-wise, it apparently captured gist-wise.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:38 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I think they had papyrus by Socrates’ time, but they definitely didn’t have a Yogi Berra. Too bad, because he was a man for the ages!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:01 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As our nation undergoes this period of fractious foolishness, Sr. Muse, reflect that it was old fools who elected one of their own as our leader.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:33 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently, they wanted one of their own kind in the White House, Ricardo (notice I said “they” instead of “old fools” because I disavow guilt by association).

      Like

    • Colane Conundrum 4:57 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I recall that Socrates called writing “the dead flower of speech.”

      I’m not sure if he was responding to my blog … or maybe he just wasn’t a good gardener?

      In any event, we’re lucky Plato recorded all of Socrates’s wisdom so future humanities students could groan about it in Philosophy 101. I can’t remember quite how they go, but I recall one where Socrates said “Don’t put words in my mouth!” while Plato scribbled away furiously, putting words in his mouth.

      Or something like that. I’m not sure; I didn’t do to well in humanities. Clearly.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 5:54 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Clearly a Conundrum. I, on the other hand, might be labeled a Punundrum, judging by all the groans my writing seems to induce. It probably has something to do with a prophet being without honor in his own puntry (I know that’s not exactly what Jesus said, but Jesus, give me a break).

      Liked by 2 people

    • literaryeyes 9:10 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Good one: Wisdom begins in wonder….and ends the same way. And lots of confuciousness in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:19 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, All's well that ends well, , , , National Nude Day, Pandemonium Day, paradise, ,   

    WELCOME TO PARADISE 

    Scurvy knave! Pray you, sir, a word: and as I told you, a young lady bade me inquire you out; what she bade me say, I will keep to myself: but first let me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a  fool’s paradise….
    –William Shakespeare, ROMEO AND JULIET

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Pray you, my readers, a word: I question whether even one of ye is a fool (a scurvy knave might maintain that all of you are — or you wouldn’t be my readers), but, for any who perchance may qualify, this is your day….July 13 is Fool’s Paradise Day.

    As if that’s not cause enough for celebration, tomorrow is Pandemonium Day and National Nude Day. Personally, I think ‘twould be more fitting if all three were observed on the same day, but apparently the holiday gods don’t see the symbiotic connection. More’s the pity, but ye can’t fight deity hall, so on this day, Paradise must hold sway.

    And where, you ask, might a fool go to celebrate this day in Midsummer Night’s Dream fashion? No problem — the Bard of Stratford and I know of just the place:

    http://afoolsparadise.ca/

    As for those who want a handier destination, there are towns named Paradise all across the U.S.A., including California, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wyoming….all you need furnish is the fool. Sorry, I don’t do distant countries, but I’m sure love’s labor will not be lost if you seek heavenly accommodations assiduously enough.

    And to insure All’s Well That Ends Well, I end with appropriate mood music:

     
    • arekhill1 12:22 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      National Nude Day and Pandemonium Day are the same? The calendar gods must be smiling.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:59 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Me too 🙂

      Like

    • Don Frankel 12:30 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      All did end well there Muse. And, I’m definitely a Knave and a fool and proud of it too. And why not? Because…

      “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

      Might as well enjoy it.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:17 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      All did indeed end well with Nat King Cole singing a romantic old ballad as only he could.
      As for being a knave and a fool, all I can say is if you are, the world could use a lot more. At least, it beats being a demagogue and a politician, which, come to think of it, often amounts to the same thing.

      Like

  • mistermuse 7:34 am on May 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: All's well that ends well, Blank verse, , perish the thought   

    APPRECIATING BLANK VERSE 

    Friends, when and if you think of the untold thought behind blank verse, do you ever reflect on what it was like for the poet? How much does his/her poem make you feel as if you’ve traveled the same creative road? As you peruse each of the following poems, consider the range of emotions the poet must have felt at various points along the way to journey’s end.  With raw blank verse, there’s little reading between the lines — what you see is what you blankety-blank get:

    A PIECE OF CAKE

     

    LET’S DO IT

     

    NOTHING DOING

     

    LOVE’S LABOR

     

    PERISH THE THOUGHT

     

    PERHAPS

     

    ALL’S WELL

     

    OR NOT

     

     
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