Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inevitable Decay


"See you not that even stones are conquered by time."

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things

This fright, this night of mindless time
Will lead us on to endless flux,
When we see in nature solid rocks
Succumb to inevitable decay.

This lack of care, this unconcern, may
Seem to be unreal, but demonstration
Of nature's power, it is ruthless
Relentless motion at play.

This place, this fixed universe weights
Time and brings its flow
To a halt. We humans move onward
Making our own different way.

Geography Lessons, February, 1992 (rev. 2009)

Fourth style wall painting from the house of M. Lucretius Fronto, Pompeii. Courtesy of VROMA.


Lisa said...

I've never read Lucretius. I've just read this poem three times and it's beautiful.

James said...

Thank you for the kind words. It is from my "Geography Lessons" collection and I plan to publish a few more over the coming weeks.
I would recommend Lucretius' poem On the Nature of Things. He was an Epicurean who opposed superstition and wrote of atoms among other things.

Lisa said...

This is so timely. I've been watching a series of DVD lectures on the history of western philosophy, so I'm delighted to say that I've recently learned about the Epicureans and the move toward natural science, atoms and corpuscles. This fits in beautifully with my DIY education :)

Candy Schultz said...

Received Versailles: the View from Sweden. It is a catalog of drawings, schematics, etc. of Versailles and many of its artifacts from a collection in Stockholm. Very interesting.

James said...

Thanks for the observations. In reading and art there is never an end to learning for life.