Epicurean Delight: On the Nature of Things

by Christine Adams Beckett

The irony behind the scientific knowledge

That there are atoms and void and nothing else:

Divine minds are free to love

Fearlessly, metaphysically.

The wrath of Jove and mythical thunderbolts

Are erased leaving us to pursue pleasure

And knowledge and enlightenment

In its higher, philanthropic sense.

After watery gruel of penance

We taste rich calm, without quid pro quo,

An eye without an eye, A tooth without a tooth.

Fear is nothing and Love is everything.

We keep a simpler recipe

For logical, all-governing Truth.

We soak our children

In a marinade of uncomplicated affection.

We stew for our families

A soulful, spicy soup

With a steadfast hand,

Nourishing not only their blood

But their Hearts,

With every loving caress of the spoon.

Primavera, Sandro Botticelli c.1492. Tempera on panel. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Further reading: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt.  W.W. Norton & Company, New York 2011.