Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Literature, Poetry, and Books

Timothy Steele


I just discovered what a sapphic is.  From Timothy Steel:


SAPPHICS AGAINST ANGER

Angered, may I be near a glass of water;
May my first impulse be to think of Silence,
Its deities (who are they? do, in fact, they
    Exist? etc.).

May I recall what Aristotle says of
The subject: to give vent to rage is not to
Release it but to be increasingly prone
   To its incursions.

May I imagine being in the Inferno,
Hearing it asked: "Virgilio mio, who's
That sulking with Achilles there?" and hearing
   Virgil say: "Dante,

That fellow, at the slightest provocation,
Slammed phone receivers down, and waved his arms like
A madman. What Attila did to Europe,
   What Genghis Khan did

To Asia, that poor dope did to his marriage."
May I, that is, put learning to good purpose,
Mindful that melancholy is a sin, though
   Stylish at present.

Better than rage is the post-dinner quiet,
The sink's warm turbulence, the streaming platters,
The suds rehearsing down the drain in spirals
   In the last rinsing.

For what is, after all, the good life save that
Conducted thoughtfully, and what is passion
If not the holiest of powers, sustaining
   Only if mastered. 

Discussions - 4 Comments

For the last few days my husband has been talking about agape covering a multitude of sins; this morning saying it is the love we must ask for. What he says come roughly in sapphics, seemingly without context. I get a packet while watching my sink's suds swirl away; then get another with a cup of tea later in the evening. Busy and preoccupied, I have only half listened. We have a lot of silence around here, lately. I give him the "Uh-huh" of married life. Reading that poem, I begin to wonder whose sins he is talking about that need the covering of agape.

That's a good poem.

Nicely said.

Thank you.

Thank you for offering us Steele's poetry, too. I am liking him.

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