This blog will include my unkempt thoughts on science, politics, music, wombats and cats. Breaks will be allowed for attending to your real job, naps, thirst and fatigue. Greetings.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The GOP: Lessons from the masters.

Why the Classics

1

in the fourth book of the Peloponnesian War
Thucydides tells among other things
the story of his unsuccessful expedition

among long speeches of chiefs
battles sieges plague
dense net of intrigues of diplomatic endeavors
the episode is like a pin
in a forest

the Greek colony Amphipolis
fell into the hands of Brasidos
because Thucydides was late with relief

for this he paid his native city
with lifelong exile

exiles of all times
know what price that is

2

generals of the most recent wars
if a similar affair happens to them
whine on their knees before posterity
praise their heroism and innocence

they accuse their subordinates
envious colleagues
unfavorable winds

Thucydides says only
That he had seven ships
It was winter
And he sailed quickly

3
if art for its subject
will have a broken jar
a small broken soul
with a great self-pity

what will remain after us
will be like lover’s weeping
in a small dirty hotel
when wall-paper dawns


Zbigniew Herbert, 1968

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