Thursday, September 16, 2004

think more: "amoral pagan world" v. world of reason

Once upon a time, the gods were closer to the earth; once they walked among us and sat at our dinner tables. Their movements were discernible in the world: an old couple was turned to wood, their limbs eternally intertwined; a handsome boy, catching the fancy of a nymph, changed into a bug that lived forever.

As much as it could, the world made sense. People lived out their lives in the place they were born, or left their homes, more than likely never to return. Poets, called the Sons of Homer, moved from town to town, reciting stories and poems (there wasn’t much difference then) in exchange for food and shelter. It was widely acknowledged that they were blind, as Great Homer had been, though most of them were not. This paradox didn’t disturb anyone. These poets - blind but not blind - brought the world to common hearths and town squares: it was small, it was vast, it was knowable, but unknown.

ανδρα μοι ενεπε, Μουσα, πολυτροπον −
The man, O Muse, sing to me of that man, ever turning .

No comments: