The rather obvious intent of Derek Walcott in this little poem is to address a particular life situation, but to me the meaning of it is able to easily expand and accommodate the many things that can absorb us and mis-lead us from ourselves and our true happiness. It just jumped out at me that it could be well used by Epicureans, as a comforting narrative on overcoming the ravages of idealist perspectives.
the ravages of idealist perspectives.
I was heavily conditioned ("Pavloved") in such self-ravaging perspectives growing up, and they were reinforced over and over -- by family, culture, religion -- throughout my adulthood. [I sometimes think that such conditioning is like a years'-long slow hypnosis, with deeply embedded, subconscious, post-hypnotic triggers.] It took a long time -- and some wise counsel -- to begin to overcome them. I still get caught up sometimes.
Thanks for this!