by Sir Edward John Poynter (1836 - 1919)
"Learn how to live
a joyful and constructive life in this world,
like ants. . . . The secret of a meaningful life
is not in the long-gone throne of Solomon and the like."
Sa'eb Tabrizi (1601 - 77)
Thanks to my nephew - in - law, David Kimbrel for calling my attention to this great quotation from Sa'eb. Sa'eb's reference to Solomon's "long-gone throne" reminds me of the statue of Ozymandias:
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies . . .
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my words ye Mighty and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)
The kingdoms of Solomon and Ozymandias did not endure, their vast achievements dwarfed by an ant and a grain of sand. For more connections on the existential dilemma of time, size and perspective, see my new
"Like An Ant"
featuring . . .
additional poetry by Mary Oliver & Earnest Sandeen
additional fiction by Padgett Powell & Samuel Beckett,
additional painting by Leonard Orr