More Than You Dream (Kouta)

The Plato Project (Bonus Track)

There are more things in heaven
and earth, Euthyphro,
that tell what piety is
Than Socrates knows.

8-9-2019

What is a Kouta?

What is the Plato Project?

The Plato Project is a series of ten poems in Terza Rima, each based on one of Plato’s dialogues. Typically in the dialogues, Socrates never finds the answer to the truth he seeks, asking clarifying questions and narrowing down possibilities but never settling on an answer.

The dialogues in the Project are Lysis, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, Phaedrus, Symposium, The Republic, and Theaetetus.

Euthyphro (Terza Rima)

Plato Project #2: Euthyphro

“Today must be your day in court, Euthyphro.
Perhaps, en route, you’ll agree to be my guide,
For you must be wiser than I am, you know.

“What gives you confidence you are in the right?
By your vast knowledge of the gods and their ways,
Set true piety plainly before my eyes.

“I applaud your consistency, but I raised
My question to gain a standard I may use
To investigate truth no matter the case.

“Your first attempt, alas, I must refuse.
This time you gave a principle, but in vain:
Not even the gods agree what we should do.

“Your refinement to what all the gods hold dear
Raises yet another question of my own:
Divine decree or outside nature, which here

“Makes something pious? Do the gods’ desires show
What is pious and righteous, or are they held
To a standard they must find themselves below?

“Now, Euthyphro, surely you won’t try to tell
Me we can attend to the gods as though we
Could better or serve them or give them some help?”

“Now that court is through, I have more time to see
To your questions. What god could be worth the name
That needed our attendance to work or eat?

“Or what good is divinity if the same
Ills and evils that befall us befall them?
If they submit to any, they forfeit claim

“To godhood. Why laud them with a poem?
Why serve them at all? Why not serve the Most High
By whom even they may find themselves condemned?

“This high God must have no need with them to vie
For fame or honor or justice or the truth;
Himself worthy of the name and more beside.

“Good––neither arbirary nor to be viewed
As abstract––is a Person in whom we see
Piety and justice, wisdom and virtue

“Because He is the standard, and He will mete
Perfect judgments of evil and good and call
Piety obedience to His decrees.

“There can be no other god like Him at all,
None to contradict nor contest His wisdom.
Every knee will bow low and all must fall

“Before the One who is Himself both Welcome
And Terror, Mercy and Judgment, Holy Love.
Let us leave our feeble ways for His Kingdom.”

8-13-2019

What is Terza Rima?

What is the Plato Project?

The Plato Project is a series of ten poems in Terza Rima (see above link), each based on one of Plato’s dialogues. Typically in the dialogues, Socrates never finds the answer to the truth he seeks, asking clarifying questions and narrowing down possibilities but never settling on an answer.

The dialogues in the Project are Lysis, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, Phaedrus, Symposium, The Republic, and Theaetetus.

Lysis and Menexenus (Terza Rima)

Plato Project #1: Lysis, or Friendship

What is friendship? What does it mean to be friends?
Can there truly be love without usefulness?
Can too much similarity be the end

Of any possibility of friendship?
Is it friend-love if it goes unrequited?
Can enemies be bound in relationship?

Can that which is good in bad be delighted?
Tell me, Socrates, is the good not enough
In himself? Is he by some need incited?

If the good rids the evil we’re afraid of,
What if rescue united them at the start?
When evil goes, is love-theft his last mischief?

How, wise one, can we know, even if in part,
That a claimant to friendship is truly so?
How does one make all doubt finally depart?

What if a wise Father made His sons to know
The secrets of the Kingdom, that Kingdom He
Finds purest joy upon those sons to bestow?

What if a Son died to secure perfect peace
And unrestricted access to certain hope
That can withstand the bitterest pain and grief?

Or should an unworthy beloved now grow
In him a reciprocal love of the Friend,
Willing, for the Friend’s sake, himself to forgo?

O Socrates, there is indeed such a one who bends
To the useless, the hostile, the unfriendly:
Who lives, dies, lives that He should make them His Friends.

8-9-2019

What is Terza Rima?

What is the Plato Project?

The Plato Project is a series of ten poems in Terza Rima (see above link), each based on one of Plato’s dialogues. Typically in the dialogues, Socrates never finds the answer to the truth he seeks, asking clarifying questions and narrowing down possibilities but never settling on an answer.

The dialogues in the Project are Lysis, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, Phaedrus, Symposium, The Republic, and Theaetetus.