Paul Hartal

Talking Back To Parmenides - Poem by Paul Hartal

He was taller than I expected.
Standing at the white city gate
Parmenides of Elea patiently waited.
What year is this? He asked.
2005, I said.
All these years, he murmured.
Yes, I nodded, you were born
More than twenty five centuries ago.

You were writing in hexameters
About the Way of Truth
And the Way of Seeming,
I reminded him.
Yes, I remember that, he said.
My memory is as good as in my youth.
I used to delve into the Enigma of Being
In the quest for finding the hidden heart of
Certainty and permanence.

We were silent for a while.
And then I said:
I read in a Dictionary of Philosophy
That you believe that reality does not change
And is unknowable.
Well, I still believe that, Parmenides said.

In that case let me ask you this:
If reality is unknowable
Then how do you know
That it does not change?

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 29, 2011

Poem Edited: Friday, September 30, 2011

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