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. The winning entry will be announced during Modern Stoicism’s online conference celebrating his birthday, held on Sunday April 26th.
The competition drew 50 entries, many of a high standard. As requested, by no means all were “odes” – the entries included blank verse, limericks, letters and haikus.
All 14 finalists will be published here in the Stoicism Today blog in the days leading up to Marcus’s birthday on April 27th and also on Modern Stoicism’s You Tube channel.
Today we have the first installment – the entries placed from 12th place
to 14th, determined by our panel of judges.
#12 wort or word anniversary – defy it from the start – is otium and yet by Walter Aigner
word some of them make it like a neg_otium where it is
maybe man’s glassy essence or an in-between …. open toward an infi
night early in the morning between three and five while
reaching toward the nothing that is perhaps your poetic work invites
responses even after nineteen hundred years – reveals the human condition
as if in-between and dialogical even at the limits of language – this is perhaps
where footnotes maintain this were unfinished like in book twelve – where you ex
plore otium that resists mastery and instead requires or invites to the to-and-fro m
ovement of the world and of ourselves – some will celebrate your disappearance
wort or word or wait a moment defy the lingua franca for something in between
languages writing beyond what you know already – and yet reopened in writing
forty times and more without academic fencing between otium and
serious play – almost all their comments and books are within too
big clothes – systems – books – kind of remember forget reading books –
not three to five am not in a villa or a tent but in home offices in a virtual
meeting on a kind of Sunday – modern science tells us there is often no correlation between
more information and accuracy object trouvés and your metaphors
like leaves the wind scatters on the ground – like the race of man often unrecognised Homer
#13 With Thanks by Oliver Owen
Thanks, gentle courage,
With care, attention, and strength,
Find humble Virtue.
#14 Clear Sky or Storm by Traci Deman
From this seat I see
all manner of beauty
and of vulgarity.
Dare I wonder how falls Zeus’ eye,
from above, on this dye?
Nay. To admit my lot
and for that gaze opt not…
My heading true: