Beauty Poems: 295 / 500

0051 From Plotinus: Enneads 4 And 6

Rating: 2.2

Often, I awaken to myself,
as from this earthly body lifted up;
and feel external to all other things,
myself the single knower past all thought;

I marvel at the beauty I then see,
a beauty all around, yet seen as one;
then, know myself to live the noblest life,
at one with highest being in that realm.

Only when, from this high state past thought,
I afterward descend, I ask myself
how can so great a thing - that soul I own,
take mortal body? How may these things be?

And this, the life of gods and blessed men:
alone with the All-One; none alien then!

Michael Shepherd 23 May 2005

To be as faithful as possible to another writer's argument - and this is one of the great statements of the Western tradition where non-duality in East and West, philosophy and religion, meet on equal terms - one has, I think, to give up any attempt to rhyme, but hope that its fluency of thought makes up for this (or even escapes the eagle-eyed, David!)

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A free-verse sonnet, Michael? What a novel idea, my friend, though I like that you chose to rhyme the ending couplet. Your intelligence and wisdom shines through in this. Well-placed thoughts throughout. How about a ten-spot for your troubles?

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