November 1999; revised Thursday morning, November17,2016 at 6: 33 a.m.
and Thursday night, November 24,2016 at 8: 59 p.m.
- to honor the life and passing of William Bronk (February 17,1918—February 22,1999)
Computing fractions to find three rational numbers
between one and two millionth on the number line
forces logic to subside into uncertainty, mystery—
how many millionths can I find in this infinite regression? —
and I come to realize some problems are unsolvable,
including this one— only care, forethought, the process
itself really matter. Pascal ordered truth metaphorically,
using infinite numbers (in = g) , but when confronting
this fragile reed, could uncover no convincing answers.
Pascal was a poet of universal proportions, and though
his numbers lied, Nietzsche felt his fault,his felt need
for a moral order, a moral universe; nevertheless, Nietzsche
liberated the will, the ego to make us the infinite equals
"in the great economy of nature" where there is only
struggle, the will to power, and the will to survive power—
"There are passages in Zarathustra that seem to me
to have such high artistic value that I feel as if they stood
at the summit of all literature; these are, however, ironic passages."
Nietzsche came to dinner polite and good-willed, questioning
whether Pascal had grown seriously ill apologizing for god.
For God? I don't know. I don't know, Ida Overbeck.
I have read your statement, and believe we all hope to gain
strength through our philosophies.(Wherego the orators, rhetoricians—
Lysias, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Quintilian, Julius Caesar, and Cicero?)
The greatest good any good rhetorician knows is happiness—
"Let it be remarked that what is to the advantage of both the individual
and the state is universally described by the term happiness."
So do rhetoric and philosophy deal with this?Happiness? —
Do we stave off truth and death in the leap to happiness?
Is there a feeling of great relief, regret of having finished with values?
Ultimately, mysteries abide.We can't solve them one way or another—
we simply exist, and hope to find ourselves capable of doing something—
as Bill and Keats tell us.And Ida, no one can praise or blame us for trying.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem