Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

(Glasses by Jacob Collins, born 1964, American painter)

A Latin expression, Ubi amor, ibi oculus or “Where there is love, there is the power to see” (oculus literally means “an eye”), describes what is so wonderful about a true friend, observes John Cuddeback in his book True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. “The true friend is especially capable of showing me truths about myself that I am incapable of seeing on my own.”

Below, the poet sees that his friend, being honorable, will be satisfied with having done his best. He does not need to be viewed as the victor.


Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors’ eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet and dramatist and winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature

No comments: