His way of writing was unburdened
By trite sophistic embellishment;
The pure expression of rigorous thought,
A great and unique accomplishment.
Those old poetic flights of fancy,
Wild children of imagination,
Didn’t fit well with his sober thinking,
Anchored fast by the bonds of reason.
He carved out multiple categories,
And constructed sound propositions,
To build up logical syllogisms
And render truthful definitions.
Those high erotic flights of Plato
Which pleased and caressed the aching souls
Of many long-tormented mortals
Were to Aristotle empty holes.
Soul, disconnected from the body,
Loses all of its strength like a corpse.
It depends on contact with other
Warm bodies for its organic force.
No part of mankind is immortal,
But the heavenly thoughts of the wise,
Which can contemplate eternal things
And reconnect with the Cosmic Mind!
Like a young virgin’s blameless beauty
Attracts with its erotic power
The enchanted gaze of her lover
Attaching him to her forever,
In the same way the great Cosmic Mind
Will invite the philosopher’s gaze
To gather light from its endless source,
Like a lighthouse to shine through the haze!
For the path to virtue is narrow,
With a steep precipice at its side,
And the many are misdirected
By the invidious eye of vice.
Virtue will follow the middle way
Shunning deficiency and excess;
Even Calypso’s shining beauty
Cannot entice it to acquiesce.
In the unending cycle of time
The Cosmos is still and unchanging.
But the cities of man are short lived
And constantly need rearranging.
Our communities take many shapes,
And by various rulers are bound,
In the harmonious blending of all,
The keys to true polity are found.
Ethical precepts in politics
Would at last gain proper resonance
As the praises of virtue reward
Citizens struggling for excellence.
A well-ruled city’s population
May include as their rightful purview
The key to enduring happiness
On the strong foundation of virtue!
Above even justice rules friendship,
A kind of special political glue,
That ties up the city with concord
And always gives each what he’s due.
Equality is just for equals
Only those who can carry the weight
Of citizenship in a country
Where the law is the real head of state.
The best of the people can accept,
For their virtue, this simple reward:
Recognition that’s freely offered;
Their fellow citizens’ honest regard.
Many thinkers has Hellas produced
And nourished with truth’s ripened fruit.
But, like a Titan, Aristotle,
Exalted philosophic pursuit!
A. M. A.