To plumb the Dionysian depths

Is philosophy

To roll in the deep dark ocean of the mind

As all is ultimately our insane fantasy

Even nature is as we see it

Not the thing-in-itself

Though to think of it is to try to plunge

Into the wildness of irrationality

The thing that alone knows itself

Like God

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll

That mind of a glorious genius that I love

O why? Why, do I love those heroes of the mind

Who brave not only wars, and seas, and love

But also dare to think and write about it!

O glorious sailors in the sea of time!

The fatuous oceans that rock the heart

Between birth and death, the tiny short awakening

Or is it sleep? ls eternity what‘s conscious,

Death not an endless sleep at all

But a waking from the dream

Of life? Meandering

Between high tides the living blink

ls perhaps the aimless havoc of

The crabs on a screeching sea-shore,

And all that can be thought is meaningless.

This is a dreamy wandering,

l have drunk overmuch and fallen

Over the brink, the cup has overbrimmed

And l still wonder how the Greeks

Could have been such geniuses,

Long before Byron and Shelley and Nietzsche

Could ever think about them, and try to match their craziness

And wondrous wildness, their leaping courage,

Their exquisite sensitivity to suffering,

Their feeling for perfection,

Their will to think, just for itself

And to try to find the truth about

The world, whatever that might be,

Wherever it might lead, like knowing love

For a dark and dangerous woman, infatuation

For the moon, or loyalty within a band of brothers,

Heroes before the stars, who know they will have to die

And accept it with a leap of the wild heart

Because they were made that way,

Brothers, be they ne‘er so vile,

Before the infinite!



If it is not universal it is nought;

Rights for all, or nothing!


Bold as a wild colt bolting

Flying to absolutes of transcendent stars!


All death that fires from the blood of time!

All anguish, ecstasy in waves of storm!



l have known all horrors of the deeps

Have seen the Gorgon, lost the very last taint

Of sophrosune, I have felt all tragedy

Even to excess that overthrows the Golden Mean.


And yet l am alive, seem sometimes quite normal

Even sane and healthy and happy

Miraculous to say, all extreme oppositions

Must exist side by side in a matrix of balance.




Brave-hearted Odysseus, thinking, courageous Odysseus;

Determined Odysseus, who knows fear but never gives in;

The first hero, the first character in all written literature,

Spoken to us as if he was known by Homer personally;

So real, recognizable, admirable: what a people who could invent

Such a character, such adventure, such suffering and fortitude!


Brave-hearted Odysseus, what fortune to have Pallas Athene

As your protector — the goddess of later Athens,

Even if Poseidon wished to dash you with monstrous waves

In his ugly rage, what matter

When the Lady of the Bright Eyes

Could bring you gorgeous and lovely Nausicaa,

To fall deeply in love with you!


The palace of King Alcinous

ls now a monastery at peace -

Still the scents of brilliant flowers

Fly around breath-heightening views

Of warm sea and ploughing boats,

Though not the curved Phaecian ships

Of Homer — rudderless, fast

Fast through foam-flecked, infinite seas!

From Nausicaa‘s beach Odysseus walked

Here, past the causeway where strong ancient mariners

Prepared their sails, when Great Pan still ruled,

And Athene, before Mary‘s Son was King.


Brave, good, determined, courageous, kind and noble Odysseus

You are the Greeks, buffetted about

But always transcendent, bravely wandering

Or enchanting visitors with magic spells

Of beauty and welcoming superiority.

With that landscape, the sunsets that break your heart,

Your mountains, the sea, the sun that shoots

Plumes of fire into the translucent air

As it departs, reddening, with the blood of love,

The feeling of being human, pushing at extreme limits

Of heart-rending emotion, sensing life

But maintaining composure, dignity, and truth

Within the wild pain, and extreme loveliness.


When Dawn‘s rosy hand tainted the sky with pink

That merged with the darkwine sea in flames

That fired in inspiration, shooting lights

Of intense liquid plumes of joy and life,

And the gods could see the new liquid flames

Firing in love of such intensity,-

Brave, good, determined Odysseus

Rose from his bed, and put to sea

For another adventure, another struggle with fate

To see if he could succeed in his quest

Of returning to Penelope in Ithaca.




Great Muse of the heavens, divine inspiration

Tell through me of vast suffering,

Make heroic song that arouses courage

In hearers everywhere, humanity striving

To achieve unity and sanity in joyous light,

And return reborn to wondrous Ithaca.




I‘ll fight for the freedom of those who think!

Think for themselves, not as others tell them!

That was what Anaximander, Heraclitus, Plato,

Did! Think for themselves, and die!


l‘ll not be subdued by mediocrities!

Feeble, flagging, bureaucrats!

l want to think originally

As a worm, groping beneath the sod

A poet, philosopher, spiriting with God

As l have only one life, and that is pure

And incorruptible by power, status, death

Of rulers! l‘ll be and think,

Though tyrants rule, allowing people to starve.



The reason the Greeks were so great

Lies in the fact that Aeschylus believed

His participation in the battle of Marathon

Was more important than his plays.

Fighting for the freedom of Athens was greater

Even than creating those amazing plays

That remain unsurpassed in the history of all art.


There is something hallucinogenically intense

About ancient Greece, larger than life;

The wisdom of Pericles, the heroism of Thermopylae,

The brilliance of Miltiades, and the inconceivable

Wildness and genius of Great Alexandros.

You fear you are conforming to a cliché

When you assert that Greek Civilization

Was the greatest there has ever been,

But the fear is unfounded: the assertion is true.




Wild sparks splay into the black sky

Of night, chaos in the heart rules

As Tarquin riding to the last earth

Burnt, as to a charred lust.




Plato, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche

These are the really great thinkers of the world

On fire with intensity and depth of thought,

On fire in pursuit of the ultimate truth!

Winged angels of hell in love and beauty,

Grandness of wisdom and unbelievable strength

Of intelligence and determination:

How did they come to take mortal form?

Islands in the sea of misery,

Caverns of thought for wanderers,

The bemused, wan, and weary seekers

Amid seas of storm, and lightning strikes

From death! Extraordinary strokes

Of fortune for the human race,

Wandering about in mediocrity,

Forgetting to seek beyond the familiar,

Dreading to see within the dark rocks

And oceans of night with the sparkling stars

Above, striving to speak with love

And amazement, elemental answers of love

ln darkness - with the roar of the wild sea

Crashing at night with her pounding waves

Groaning from the heart of the buried soul

In the mind gone mad in the universe

Of forgetfulness! O list, and see

The harsh and cracking reality!




Can you be content to see this world

Of misery and inequality?

This world of famine and war and tyranny

This world that has not yet begun to make

Its best ideas reality!

How can we live and see the world

Flooded in farce and tragedy:

Do our minds not allow us to see another

Possibility? Can we not break at the bars

With the perspicacity that saw Prometheus

Rage at the heavens of Olympian gods

And steal fire? Can we meekly settle

For shackles upon our dreaming limbs,

Starkly impaled in feeble sleep

And complacency? Where are our minds,

So badly locked in complicity

To mediocrity and death and the siren

Calls to conformity!




Transcend all this misery and death

The soul on fire

Of everyone, free.




Over the sea to Epirus,

There where there‘s nothing to buy;

What a relief - no commodities,

No temptation, no guilt, no anguished desire!

Here is where Byron first landed,

In the stark hills of Epirus,

Here the germ of Childe Harold was born,

Here where the Acheron flows.

Here that great ideal

Of Marxism was applied

Disastrously, with split on split

By bureaucrats turned despots,

Ironically bringing into real being

Plato‘s Ideal Republic

Where all are indoctrinated (unsuccessfully)

And all taught to know their place:-

All that does not help conformity

Being banned, as that greatest philosopher

Prophesied, and Marx‘s grand idea

Was turned back on itself to its death.

That philosophy sprung from the urge to end

Poverty has thrown it back

In supreme form, abysmally,

Without even the dream of Utopia

Left, to ease its pain.

Yet, the sea in the little coves

Lapping the land where ancient shepherds

Still tend their flocks

ls clear as translucent elemental diamond,

And the scents of sage, rosemary, and citrus fruits

Are as transcendental as truth.


lt is a rage that shakes the sacred earth

Which is aroused by vile rulers

Who lead their people to despair and death.


The feeling of inadequacy

ls so deep, so extreme

You want to wash the blood clean

With forgetting and remembering.




To be woken, with limpid drops of liquid light

And kisses that lift the eyelids, to find yourself

In paradise of sweet love, beached on a shore

Of perfumes where fantasy has become reality,

On a delicious isle whose soul burns

And saturates nature with heavy scents of lemon-flowers,

Where truth is spoken by every passing cloud,

Every swallow in the blue sky,

And skylark, wagtail, or floating dove,

Making you dream heaven, mind communing

With the buried lamp, the heart, of this world.




l love you like the world at sea

All is so strange, extraordinarily,

The Muse is a divine life-giver

And taker, like the Wild West Wind —

Destroyer, preserver, hear o hear!

Feel love like Great Alexandros

Could see his opponent at twelve years old

And be braver than his wild crazy father

And wiser than his gorgeous witchy mother!

O bliss, to imagine unto the grave

This fantastic truth, and wild spree,

This is to be alive, thinking thus

And now l love you, again, in bliss.




Wild coloured fire from the Mysteries of Eleusis,

Dreams of those kisses that pulse through and from

ln clasp of soft love, moving from dream to dream

In forgetfulness, sweetness, beautiful oblivion

Perfumed in joy and warmth and wonder

Again and again reaching, so perfect and moist

Lips to lips touching, breathing love

Pulled apart for an instant, waiting to dive

That breathe, and embrace, as spirits in the one

Truth, without fear, freedom in love.




Ah, in the dalliance of the deep blue sea,

Touching eternity, ecstatically,

Mad in the wonderness floating in dream

That grinds in deep dark ultimate tragedy

Of love for all, that wants all totally

And is pained badly when all is not possible

Yet cannot help dreaming and hoping for it all,

Urging with the heart, and the pulsing cells

Of the brain — poetry, philosophy, science,-

Thought and feeling about eternity;-

Those who are drunk with greatness of thought

Cannot help being infants, obsessive with fire

And madness like Prometheus stealing fire,




Rebelling unreasonably, yet afterwards seeing

That reconciliation into harmony of opposite extremes

ls good and beautiful, harmonious form

Being truth of existence - not insanity at all

But balance, sophrosune, the wisdom of the great

Greeks in their battles, philosophy, and art.

Art is that which aspires for the supreme!

The beautiful, and good, and honest, and pure,

Without which we languish in the mud

Of mediocrity, normality, dreary swamp:

Everybody knows we must leap from this clay!

But only in the notes of Wolfgang Amadeus

Mozart, is it obvious where we must go,

O it is so clear, when we listen then.

lt strikes you as a wind of flame and fire,

So strange, where are we in this mire?

You, the daughters of all beauty and truth,

You, can speak in health and the Spring

Of love and life, so naturally,

lnnocent and wonderful, beautifully,

Young as nymphs in the welcoming groves

For exhausted wanderers, braincell-tired

Idiots who think they know the world

And rule, but are bleached of your sweetening touch.

Glorious and generous spirit, wild heart,

Freedom incarnate, expansive soul

Yet so dark, dangerous, suicidal, hard

O my friend, l could hold your hand

Now! Under the Grecian moon

Everything is possible, and I can feel your heart

Pounding in brave, violent, warmth,

Battling with the seas, and the futile mirth.

When Shelley drowned, you swam far out to sea



And afterwards you all burned his body

On a funeral pyre, with the sparks leaping

To heaven, setting the moonlit sky

Aflame! That was the moment of truth,

That was the time when poetry fired

High into the sky like liquid love

Of intensity never again known so true,

Then the universe burst into flames,

As the spirits of Aeschylus, Plato, Keats

Wept and leapt in wildness and pure joyl!

That was the moment when

The vaults of heaven flared and burnt

In the White Light splayed by the golden dome

Of love on earth, where that wrecking Life

ls unattainable: friends, I was with you there,

Friends, l knew you before my birth.

From the rack of life he is released

From the Wheel of Necessity he is set free,

His soul at last laughing hysterically

And soaring high, echoing through

The universe, kissing that beauty furled

Which penetrates and clasps and fills the world

ln freedom wrapped, embracing love

ln balm and sweetness and satiation.


Tim Cloudsley nació Cambridge, Inglaterra. Es sociologo, escritor y poeta. Trabajó como profesor en la Escuela de Idiomas, de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga en el ámbito de estudios culturales y literatura.

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