Sunday, 4 June 2017

A Leaf, A Tree And A Dream

We will soon suffer a truly trivial post but I strive to stay serious for a while longer.

Thinking about the question of a hereafter in the works of Poul Anderson and SM Stirling led to reflection on a relevant poem by Kipling which led to thinking about how often Kipling has been referenced on this blog. See here.

Kipling's poem concludes:

"He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls?"

Leafs and trees are not wasted but they do not return as individual leafs or trees either. They go into the earth from which new life grows. Human knowledge goes into language and literature. Each new generation learns to speak and hopefully to read.

If, like the ancient Greeks, we regard poets as inspired authorities on such matters, then Shakespeare is a greater poet than Kipling:

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. (See here)


David Birr said...

I **LOVE** that poem.

"Ever through high Valhalla Gate the Patient Angel goes.
He opens the eyes that are blind with hate—he joins the hands of foes."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Like David, I love that poem by Kipling! I really should get back to reading Kipling's verses. And the lines David quoted seemed esp. appropriate, given the wrath I felt at the LATEST atrocity by fanatical Muslims in London. But, however much our eyes should not be blinded by hate or that we should be willing to offer our hands to enemies in friendship, this should not be in blind denial of facts. One of which is that Islamic supremacism is a real danger. It's a delicate balance.