Photo of Statue of Napoleon I, Cherbourg, France.‘Proverbs for Engraving onto Imperial Monuments’ and Other Poetry by Daniel Galef The Society January 30, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Poetry 3 Comments Proverbs for Engraving onto Imperial Monuments War is the price of freedom. Depths bewilder. The blow aimed at the beast hits him who shields it. The sword of Justice best serves him who wields it. The gibbet’s final victim is its builder. A round coin rolls to him who most deserves it. A tree outlives its leaves; an age, its fashions. A carthorse needs its blinders; man, his passions. The word of Justice best shields him who serves it. The ardent spirit breaks the firm retort. Power bears scrutiny like the sun the gaze. God speaks His queer commands one thousand ways. The worm awaits. The butterfly is dreaming. The price of peace is bondage. Chains support. Persuasion is a proof. Seeing is seeming. previously published in Philosophy Now By a Poet of Two-and-Twenty (When Rimbaud Was Retired and Chatterton Was Dead) Today I’m two-and-twenty, __As Housman’s “Lad” was, once, But no sum of sighs a-plenty __Can educate a dunce. And yet the Muse has mired __In many a youthful head: Here Rimbaud was retired, __And Chatterton was dead. Since I was one-and-twenty __(Or rather, twenty-one), I’ve no dolce far niente __For I hear the clock-hands run. They shout semaphore instructions, __“Tock” close on the heels of “Tick,” Cry “No time for introductions! __Rock boats! Make ripples! Quick!” At fifteen Gauss solved the sigma; __Mozart’s “Serenade for Winds” Came at nine. Their shared enigma: __How to follow Wunderkinds Who scribbled words inspired __Till their artful fingers bled When Rimbaud was retired __And Chatterton was dead. previously published in The Lyric Daniel Galef’s comic verse has been published in Light Quarterly, Measure, and New York Magazine, and he is a featured author in the Potcake Chapbooks series of mini-anthologies from Sampson Low. NOTE: 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. 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) 3 Responses James Sale January 30, 2020 I think these two poems are both wonderful, especially the first: I love its gnomic, gnarly quality and yet the wisdom too it contains, but which officialdom rarely, if ever, states so baldly. War is the price of freedom? Usually we get the more anodyne ‘vigilance’ or ‘eternal vigilance’ is the price; and of course the last line packs such a punch: ‘Seeing is seeming’. Nothing is really what it is and we are pretty deluded if we think otherwise. And as for the last two lines of the Rimbaud/Chatterton piece – absolutely brilliant. The idea that Rimbaud was actually ‘retired’ at 22, given his restless (and I would say, evil) energies seems ludicrously inappropriate … yet so right too. This is writing of a very high order indeed. Reply Daniel Galef February 4, 2020 Thank you, James! Reply James Sale June 1, 2020 There is some confusion: is it Daniel or David Galef? Or are there two people? Assuming it’s Daniel – well done on your performance last night at the SCP event. I thought your poetry excellent and the actual delivery very strong indeed. Do let me have your personal email address, so I can connect with you directly – mine is email@example.com. And PS I got to love NJ as I stayed there last year when I visited NY and the SCP first conference in Manhattan! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.