An Original Hymn to Venus

  • Good evening, all! My name is Joshua, and I'm rather new around here. I've been an Epicurean for some few years, and I have occasionally been possessed by the notion to write a longform materialist poem in English. In my vision (forever out of reach) this would correct the two major deficiencies in Lucretius; first, the many (albeit generally trifling) mistaken scientific hypotheses in his poem. And second, the temporal disadvantage that separated him from the death pangs of pagan philosophy and the subsequent brutal intolerance of revelation.

    To make a long story short, I began such a poem by degrees but soon found the rhyme and meter burdensome. I may add to it further, or start again in blank verse as time allows, but in any case I'll post it here for your perusal. I am desirous of letting it out for several reasons. For one thing, because I shall be pleased to have feedback! But I offer it as encouragement also; in the hope that some here will be pleased to know that there is a quiet, brooding literature in the world, unknown to you but not altogether unconnected. (To be continued...)

  • Strange star! Light, lingering in the West, whoso

    Wouldst gleam this eve o'er silken river and

    The silt hills, and thread the hanging grotto

    Of dew-laden boughs with thy shimmering strand--

    You, who call forth the sun upon the morn,

    Setting fire to heaven, spreading light

    And vital heat to the meridian!

    In wondrous light all things on Earth are born,

    Reared, and given to passionate delight

    In the sweetness of life!


    Maid, keep you by night to some secret

    Tryst? Awaiting a youth handsome and bold

    To steal over the garden wall and get

    Your hand in his, and kiss you as he holds?

    O Venus, you! Whose ancient light deceives

    Me not, skating along the face of things,

    For I know its weft, and find it delved deep

    In the roots and bones of Earth. Thy reprieve

    Falls sweet--Tarry here, counsel me to sing

    Of old seeds of truths grasped, and pleasures reaped!

    The lamp of Vesper hangs still, a pale urn

    Watering our sleep with light and dewy dreams;

    But the motion of all things is return--

    Sink, and rise again. I trace thy gleam

    Wandering, alighting waves far past my sight,

    And sail thy wake on craft of human thought.

    Stars do not shine that men may calibrate

    Their instruments--float on! But my delight

    Shall be to wash on Grecian shores, where taught

    A sage long past whose simple truths abate

    All Earthly fears.

    That man, a Greek, fallen

    Into mortal memory--to stardust

    And starlight, scattering in the swollen

    Void those atoms that were the scene of lusts

    And terrors long conquered--Searching out the

    Grounds of wise choice and avoidance, he lived

    In this world a match even for gods

    In happiness. His voice echoes to me

    Across the centuries; he has contrived

    A path of wisdom, pleasant still to trod--

    A path incorruptible, laid forever.

  • JJEbert I am not an expert on poetry so my reaction is not worth much, but it immediately strikes me that what you are saying is *understandable.* I I think you are off to a good start!

  • Excellent! It's got a nice flow, gathering steam as it goes. And a nice use of language!


    I have occasionally been possessed by the notion to write a longform materialist poem in English. In my vision (forever out of reach)

    Regarding "forever out of reach": baby steps! Putting oneself out there creatively takes a ton of courage (in some cases hubris). Maybe you've already been doing this, but sticking to a creative routine for an hour or so, say four days a week, builds momentum and over time leads to surprising results. Also, using a voice recorder on the road can be a way to get your ideas down. It may be possible to digitally transcribe the recording for later editing as well.

    This all may be obvious, but I say it to offer encouragement back. There's a sense of your pleasure in your words, and you seem to have a drive (pun intended) to write more, so why not find a way to maximize your pleasure in this activity? I hope I'm not being presumptuous.

    I'd enjoy reading more.

  • Thanks awfully, gentleman! I'm beginning to feel that as I spend more time here, I shall certainly write more. Your idea about the recorder, Godfrey, is an idea I've had but have not implemented. Initiative and discipline; the very things I need. And not presumptuous in the least! I'll post more lines as they come to me.