"Echo and Narcissus" by John William Waterhouse‘Self-Love’ and Other Poetry by Ron L. Hodges The Society March 2, 2018 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 6 Comments Self-Love Some tenderhearted people claim We’re deficient self-esteem; Yes, a collective sense of shame Made despondency mainstream. While gloom and sadness are the rage, I suggest the torment of Depression in our present age Arises from self-love. Narcissus so adored his face It became his food and drink. Of course, no feeling can replace Facts, no matter what you think; So he died, forlorn, at a pool, Victim of his own ego. Now he’s a byword for a fool, Symbol of a pride-born woe. Still, we get lost inside our mirrors, Boast of every banal feat; Like Narcissus, our own heart stirs When face and reflection meet. For us, the jacaranda blooms Purple flowers for our mirth, And jasmine yields its fragrant fumes To corroborate our worth. Thus, we see ourselves, near divine, Worthy of an earthly crown; Yet, if we worship at our shrine, god will surely let us down. And painful the epiphany When a cherished idol falls; Though Ego tries hard not to see, The reality appalls. With respect to those who declare We’re unhappy from self-doubt, There’s narcissism in the air— From it does our sadness sprout. Depression would not be so broad If our focus aimed Above— The rupture between us and God Arises from self-love. An Atheist’s Faith If I had the faith of an atheist, I’d never succumb to my mortal lust. I could cast mighty mountains out to sea, Walk across water as those insects ski, And break the darkness like a brittle crust. For to believe chance made all this, one must Hold a steeled mind, shaped and cured not to rust. Oh, my stumbling soul would have found the key If I had the faith of an atheist! No, our universe seems more than pooled dust: We see such signs of design. To then trust Constructive destruction brought it to be Shows such zeal—such raw devotion—to me. Oh, from nothing could the wonders consist If I had the faith of an atheist! Ron L. Hodges is an English teacher and poet who lives in Orange County, California. His works have appeared in The Road Not Taken, Ancient Paths, Calvary Cross, and The Society of Classical Poets Journal 2015 and 2016. He won the Society’s prestigious Annual Poetry Competition in 2016. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Amy Foreman March 2, 2018 I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of both poems, Ron! A proper view of the self would revolutionize this culture–and, on the flip side, it will take a complete turn-around by this culture to bring about a proper view of the self. It can’t happen when everyone’s a winner, when success and prosperity are penalized, and when it’s no longer considered a virtue to make sacrifices. It was prophesied in the Scriptures that, in the last days, men and women would be “lovers of themselves.” And so they are. Reply David Paul Behrens March 3, 2018 GOD AND DEVIL Good people have at their core Standards to be held on high A religion can be nothing more Than a set of rules to live by Only the insane are truly atheistic Or agnostic and without any rules As we all must strive to be realistic Those without an rules are fools Remove an O from the word GOOD Add a D to EVIL and it spells DEVIL GOD can then become understood And religion becomes on the level God and Devil are Right and Wrong Philosophical symbols in the mind Only good people will ever belong To a Universal Church of the Kind Reply David Paul Behrens March 7, 2018 Amendment: Those without “any” rules are fools. Sorry about that. Reply Steven Shaffer March 3, 2018 Nice work; i especially like “self love” — on target thesis and holds the meter throughout. Reply Michael Dashiell March 6, 2018 Both poems are excellent. The poem of self-love reveals the shame of our times. From songs with the theme of the singer’s personal life and interests, to the utter vanity of the Kardashians, to the rampant use of selfies, and social media as a means to showcase ourselves, ego is still much condoned. We need to recognize that the scope of life and the cosmos are far vaster than any of us. I also appreciated the atheist poem, as a man caught between the facts of science, and the love of life and world hopefully non-ending, I sympathize with both world views. I can only hope there’s a God, but find the evidence subjective and shaky. If God does exist, it’s time for him to come out of us closet. Reply David Hollywood March 9, 2018 Very satisfying poetry. Thank you. 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