The Examined Life—A Short Poem

Deep Silence


A brief flash of postprandial inspiration speared down and showed itself this week, in the form of poetry. I couldn’t say how much more there is where that came from, at least that is worth reproducing. Whatever other adumbrations of mine that list toward this artistic form should probably remain on my hard drive where they belong, and broadcast to public eyes later on, or perhaps never.

Older and wiser, yet more aware of one’s own ignorance,

With an active mind salved only by the balming comfort of knowledge,

And one finger affixed to the pulse of mental pursuits, an ear inclined toward the shoulders of the learned,

Drawn to investigation of assertion and less to contradiction of word,

Given to toiling on the edge of understanding, grasping yet always climbing,

Casting off those limits which fate sought to dispose, being granted momentary glimpses into new heights only to be swallowed abruptly by the billowing haze of branching complexity,

Acknowledging the paradox, and embracing its perverse asymmetry,

Possessing a restless mind but a contented soul,

A life disposed to sharpening the intellect can no more be found in dereliction of duty than an animal absent of instinct.

— “The Examined Life” by Daniel Bastian (4/13/2015)


Feature image: Deep Silence