“Odes to Aurelius” – The Winner

To mark the 1900th birthday of Marcus Aurelius, Modern Stoicism  challenged its followers to write a short tribute to the great Stoic Emperor in 250 words or less.

Today we are publishing the winner.

Meditations, Book 874 by Tobias Ruess

In my imagination  Marcus is sitting in his home in Italy, now 1900 years old, and still writing in his diary every now and then

Nineteen hundred years and still,
I try to discipline my will.
For sometimes I want things to be,
But nature seldom does agree.

I have to let go desire,
And – just like a blazing fire –
Use all that life puts in my way,
To grow – each and every day.

Many times, the world has changed,
Religions, countries rearranged.
And in the noise of time I find,
Stillness only in my mind.

Long gone is that fateful hour,
When I was at the height of power,
I always thought it to be same,
If country or if self to tame.

I´m old now and can barely move,
But even now I can improve,
The lives of those who are around,
With words, all timeless and profound.

The key is how do they perceive
the world around them – I believe.
Most Problems that they think to fear,
When looked at right, will disappear.

See Modern Stoicism’s You Tube channel Modern Stoicism – YouTube for audio versions of all the finalists (coming soon)

Author: Gregory Sadler

Editor of Stoicism Today, president of ReasonIO, adjunct professor at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design | Sadler's Lectures podcast - https://soundcloud.com/gregorybsadler | YouTube channel with 1700+ philosophy videos - https://www.youtube.com/c/GregoryBSadler

8 thoughts on ““Odes to Aurelius” – The Winner”

  1. I like this tribute and feel he deserves first place.
    I am writing a book called The Uber Psychologist and have a chapter on Stoicism in which I quote Marcus Aurelius, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” I also used that quote in my first book, “A Suicide Note of Hope” which is on Amazon.

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