Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Overly German, Philosophical Mouse: A Poem

For some reason blogspot isn't allowing me to load pictures.  I have several posts and a whole Camboida travel series ready to go as soon as I get this resolved.  But until then, I spent most of the last 2 days on airplanes and in airports, which generally means...I wrote a terrible poem that you get to read.  The poem was based on the following passage from Chesterton's Orthodoxy[1]

"But if the mouse were a German pessimist mouse, he might not think that the cat had beaten him at all. He might think he had beaten the cat by getting to the grave first. Or he might feel that he had actually inflicted frightful punishment on the cat by keeping him alive. Just as a microbe might feel proud of spreading a pestilence, so the pessimistic mouse might exult to think that he was renewing in the cat the torture of conscious existence. It all depends on the philosophy of the mouse...You cannot even say that the cat gets the best of it unless there is some best to be got." Orthodoxy - The Eternal Revolution

This just seemed to beg for a poem (at least it seemed to do so in the haze of total time zone shift somewhere over the Pacific).

The Overly German, Philosophical Mouse

The German mouse, full up on cunning
Hatched a plan that spared him running.
He allowed the cat to close the distance
Sentencing him to prolonged existence.

When oblivion is the highest gain,
The surest way to win the game,
Is neither to flee nor run for cover                      
But make a trophic donation that prolongs the other.
[1] One of my all time favorite books that I am re-reading and has spawned a number of posts in various stages of completion.


JMBower said...

But mice are fools as well as men,
For life grinds on, beyond their ken
A death, precursor to digestion,
ends not the philosophic question.

All life is food, from men to worms,
as in our gut, bacteria squirms.
What once was mouse, on entering cat,
from feline nether regions sha…..defecated.

From lowly fecal origin,
The mouse begins to live again
as part of nature’s trophic feast,
from plant, thence vegetarian beast.

At last, as up the chain it stalks,
It fills the belly of a fox,
who ravages the aging cat,
that sent the mouse to where he’s at.

Come round the endless cycle, he
finds unexpected poetry.

(this is much more a response to the original text than your much more succinct and wonderful poetic take:)

stanford said...

That's outstanding Justin!!!