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12 February 2010

monochromatic melodramas complete

the fascination with things, driving to distraction

the actions which characterize a life lived well;

εὐδαιμονία – the goal of the good life,

described by so many philosophies,

so many mysteries, so many raging inconsistencies

of desire after desire after desire…

passions riot and rage, perplex and evade

all attempts at containment;

such all-consuming conflagrations

disperse and dispose of the energies

necessary to save

from such universal disorder…

but at the end of the day, all i can say

is the Publican’s refrain:

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 February 2010 12:18

    This brought right to the “Jesus Prayer” — “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

    • 12 February 2010 14:48

      I admit, the Jesus Prayer was a source of inspiration for this one. The history of the practice of the Jesus Prayer in the Orthodox Christian tradition is very interesting and there is a lot of intense theology around it. I decided on a simpler (and more oblique) form of the Prayer as the closing line in hopes to avoid some of that–I wanted to try to convey the Publican’s humility in accepting his sin, and laying it before God. But…good catch Glynn.

  2. 12 February 2010 15:33

    Um … Is “it’s Greek to me” appropriate?

    I love the poem, but I still want to know what that word is, in letters I can read, even without the translation (though that would be nice too, but I have a feeling I’d get it if I could find the sounds).

    And I think this, again and again, so often.

    • 12 February 2010 15:47

      eudaimonia – usually translated as happiness in English, but literally mean “good demon” or “well spirit”…and actually means something more like “living the best/most pleasing kind of life.”

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