I Died For Beauty
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth – the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a-night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.
I wonder if these lines were inspired by yet another poem by one of the great English Romantic poets, John Keats. Keats (who lived to be all of twenty-five years old) writes in Ode on a Grecian Urn:
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, –that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Are Beauty and Truth one and the same? Must they be the ultimate pursuit of every human being? Is it is a faulty line of thought that suggests that one ought to be an artist to pursue these? If you've found one have you then also found the other? I've heard that in mathematics, two things are proved to be equal if the difference of them can be proved to be arbitrarily small. Would this principle then apply to these two abstract concepts? Are these then to be considered as absolutes or are they dynamic?
May you find your own path in weighing the two in order to come to your own reality about how the two size up for you.
Note on picture: This is a picture that was part of an exhibit on the children of Rwanda. I see both Truth and Beauty in one.