Creating and Nurturing the Epicurean Philosophy Community

  • In the cold gray cloudy days of an Oregon winter...A poem I just finished writing, and though it is framed from the negative, it still points the mind toward a dream of beauty, pleasure, and shared philosophy.

    21st Century Epicurean Longing

    We have no real garden in which to meet,

    No bodily sensations of greetings and smiles,

    No warmth of hands, or hugs,

    Nor pats on the back.

    No lesson plans, no vocalized discourse,

    Nor daily practice of sublime repartee,

    No philosophical banter, or audible laughter,

    Nor real faces which wink or smirk in midst of debate.

    No apples, no pears, no pomegranates,

    Nor fig trees to leisurely pluck as you please,

    No shared bread, wine and cheese,

    Nor flute, drum, or happy dancing feet.

    No real kepos for me,

    No real kepos for you,

    And yet do I dream how we could show,

    That atoms do gloriously swerve,

    And rightly prove it is so.


    Post edit: 12/19/2021

    I apologize again if this feels heavy...Please see the revised version of this poem below. We must always look to our own actions in creating the means for meeting our needs and necessary desires. Even if it seems impossible at first, given time new ideas will come forward. I am looking ahead to 2022 and the further development of the "online kepos".


    In the midst of winter does anyone else dream of Kepos? And if so, what do you dream of?

  • I wrote this one perhaps a year and a half ago? It touches on the same subject, but ends on a positive note.



    On seeing the bust of Epicurus

    Ho! I--Master, I held from grief. We laid

    Your body to its rest beneath the sky

    And sun. What then to grieve? Thy atoms fly

    Scattered, thy soul at more than peace which said

    "Death is nothing"--but here! Thy sculptured head

    Is wreathed with leaves of bay. Ah, how can I

    Fall to grief? Your students with laughing cries

    Honor you--your 'membrance blesses their bread.

    Should scholarchs fail, and birds alone here warble--

    Should vine and olive go to sage and sorrel--

    Still aged men would carve your like in marble

    And shining youth crown thy head with laurel.


    It's good to have another poet in the class!

  • I love your poem! Joshua

    Your poetry is far more lyrical and refined than mine. You are undoubtedly the poet par excellence here.

  • Kalosyni

    Changed the title of the thread from “Can We Imagine a Future Kepos?” to “Creating and Nurturing the Epicurean Philosophy Community”.
  • Rewrote the "21st Century Epicurean" poem to be in the positive. I think it is much better now.

    An Ode to Our Future Kepos

    In the garden we meet,

    Old and new faces,

    Welcome: nod, wink, or smile,

    Greetings, warm hearts and hugs,

    Gratitude and congratulations,

    Even pats on the back,

    Vocalized philosophical discourse,

    Daily practice of sublime repartee,

    Witty banter and audible laughter.

    Shared bread, wine and cheese,

    (Some days homemade macaroni and cheese)

    Apples, pears, and pomegranates,

    Fig trees to leisurely pluck as we please,
    Joyful flute, drum, and happy dancing feet.

    A real kepos for me,

    A real kepos for you,

    How I dream we will show,

    Those garden-atoms do gloriously swerve and grow,

    And rightly prove it so.

  • I am an introvert on the spectrum, and so “social distancing” and solitude are easier for me. But I am not a hermit, and enjoy a few close friendships. I am glad that we are able to finally—if judiciously (e.g., personal health issues)—be with some of them.

    With that said—and to borrow from Hemingway—I view the Garden as “a moveable feast.” For example, during the worst of our shut-in time, I discovered a wine club that supports new and up-and-coming vintners—and that delivers to our state. Reviewing and discussing wines gives it a kind of community feel.

    I was also part of an online poetry community (though I haven’t written now for a while). So I immediately appreciate your poem. Here is one I wrote, using an image of the goddess Fortuna as a prompt and metaphor—and perhaps calls up some imagery of kepos:

    ~ ~ ~

    Fortuna Dawn

    Dawn shatters the brittle husk of night—

    as cracked shards fall, an amphora sun

    generously pours orange-blossom honey—

    nimble-footed Domina Fortuna

    with bountiful golden cornucopia

    dances gaily from the vernal east—

    festive agora fragrances of oregano,

    ginger, black peppercorns and sage,

    olives, lemons and lusty fermented grapes

    are conjured on the rising breeze:

    now redolent with citrus, wine and spice—

    drowsing heartbeats are mellowly awakened

    by melodious imaginal byzantine chimes;

    flurries of bees cavort in your veins,

    an undulous hum enraptures your spine—

    the grace-infused, sun-hallowed celebration

    of freshening day draws breath—and begins.

  • Thank you Pacatus for sharing your poem!

    With that said—and to borrow from Hemingway—I view the Garden as “a moveable feast.”

    This sounds like a good way to see things, thank you. :)