The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

The Penguin’s Penultimate Argument

“There I end my lectures,”
our philosophy professor said,
“this term’s introduction
to Plato’s Theory of Forms.”
He then, slowly, bowed his head,
in his black gown, like a tall penguin,
about to step down from a block of ice.
The original pyramid,
he had earlier chalked with care,
he scrubbed from the blackboard.
“One day someone might
come up with the penultimate argument.
Till then, that one will suffice,”
he added, then flapped out of the lecture hall,
leaving us all impressed, satisfied,
some even serenely smiling.
To break the silence, someone said:
“That was good, was’nt it?”
And another said: “Yes, that was nice.”
For it was good sometimes, was’nt it?
Was’nt it good sometimes?
Yes, it was good then,
as we left the lecture hall,
stepped out into the quadrangle,
bright with May sunshine on the lawns,
the hedges and the willows.
For that afternoon, we were still in Athens,
when Plato debated and Socrates
spoke with certainty
of the soul and its immortality.
And yes, it was good.
When you pause, remember.
It was good sometimes.
Was’nt it good sometimes?


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