Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
Here are a couple of limericks inspired by moments in the history of Western Thought. What do they have in common besides that? Both were moments of failing to see clearly stemming from a failure to realize that we can not reach ultimate truth from merely unaided human starting points—either epistemologically or morally. By creating an epistemology that excluded truth from divine revelation and kept itself within the bounds of human reason alone, Kant let reality (the Ding an sich or “thing in itself”) slip through his fingers. In like manner, Augustine at one point failed to cast himself wholly on the grace of God not only to see but to do what is right. Unlike Kant, Augustine learned better than his original error. So should we.
THE SLIDE TOWARD SOLIPSISM BEGINS
Limerick # 32
“Our knowledge,” one sage used to rant,
“Is inevitably always aslant.
The true Ding an sich
Is so sly and so slick
That when you try to see it, you Kan’t.”
THE CONSISTENT INCONSISTENCY OF THE OLD NATURE
MAKES SELF-REFORMATION FUTILE
Limerick # 33
Before he was saved, St. Augustine
Was in love with the pleasures of lustin’.
He prayed, “Make me pure,
But not yet, to be sure!”
While he prayed, his own prayer he was bustin’.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!
Donald T. Williams, PhD