Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Last Philosophers

Indulge me if you will with this piece of juvenilia. While rummaging in my shoeboxes and scrapbooks, I found this bleak piece, my first and only poem. Writing 16 years ago, I was already too wordy. And I found the accompanying line drawings that my good friend Rob May coughed up so that we'd win some prize or other... Ah, nostalgia...

The Last Philosophers


The pungent odour of coffee emanated from the bistro.
Beyond this establishment lay the beginning of the end:
The last bastion of philosophy,
The last breed of a dying species.

There they sat in front of the café:
Sartre, De Beauvoir – soon to become household names.
Heated debates that even the hookers,
Those honourable dames of Place Pigalle, couldn’t ignore;
Quintessential abstractions flung across the table.
They brewed their own cocktail of idealism.
Kennedy was the diluted brand of their concentrate,
As were those √©tudiants in the summer of ’68:
They changed the world.
Their mentor, Martin Luther King achieved this change
But died for it as did the majority of their tribe.
These were the last philosophers.

Plato and Socrates would have turned in their graves;
Their offspring had been martyred by the society they fought to change.
They all died:
Replaced by the "Martin Luther Lennons"
of the psychedelic Seventies.
These are the decades of the convoluted:
The pseudo-intellectual who barely hides his hypocrisy.
The Nixons of the world are abundant
Actors rule us.
Who, what can we admire?
Our generation has nothing to aspire to;
No meaty issue to ruminate over;
The media debates for us.

The Philosopher is extinct.

last-philosophers


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true your poem is Koranteng, how true! I think I am one of the extinct. How shall we bring us back? My whole life's way depends on it.

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