Plato and Old Age

murder of old crows
escaping youthful pleasures
mad and furious

Kim M. Russell, 2nd December 2018

Image result for crows flying Pinterest
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #61 a new feature for the weekend … introduction

Not only does Carpe Diem have a new CDHK Weekend Meditation logo for Winter but it also has a new feature, Carpe Diem Dives into Classical Literature, with the question: “Is it possible to create haiku, tanka or other forms of Japanese poetry from it?”

Every episode will present us with a piece of classical literature, for example Plato or Socrates, and a little background. Our task is to create Japanese poetry inspired on the given text – a kind of ‘distillation’.

In the first episode we have an extract from Plato’s ‘The Republic’:

 “…Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb says; and at our meetings the tale of my acquaintance commonly is–I cannot eat, I cannot drink; the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life. Some complain of the slights which are put upon them by relations, and they will tell you sadly of how many evils their old age is the cause. But to me, Socrates, these complainers seem to blame that which is not really in fault. For if old age were the cause, I too being old, and every other old man, would have felt as they do. But this is not my own experience, nor that of others whom I have known. How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, How does love suit with age, Sophocles,–are you still the man you were? Peace, he replied; most gladly have I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master. His words have often occurred to my mind since, and they seem as good to me now as at the time when he uttered them. For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many… 

12 thoughts on “Plato and Old Age

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