The Cynics - Poem by RAJ NANDY


In early fourth century BC was born,
The founder of the School of Cynics!
He was a faithful disciple of Socrates;
Uncouth and disdainful of the amenities
of life,
Preferred to lead the so called ‘dog’s life’!
But of all the Cynics perhaps the best
known, -
Was Diogenes of Sinope! *
All his life he had lived in a tub,
And walked the streets in broad day light,
With a lantern in hand, looking for someone, -
Worthy to be called a Man!
In the city of Corinth, when the great Alexander
stood before his view,
And asked Diogenes, ‘How can I help you? ’,
Diogenes had calmly replied, -
‘Stand a bit out of my sunlight, will you! ’
Alexander taken a back amazed, is know to
have said, -
‘If I was not Alexander, I would like to be
Diogenes! ’
And by some strange coincidence of History,
Which yet remains a mystery;
On the same day of the year 323 Before Christ,
Both Alexander and Diogenes had died!
-Raj Nandy
New Delhi

(*This is an extract from my ‘History of Ancient Philosophy’ in verse!
Alexander’s tutor was the great Plato & he respected Philosophy!
Or else Diogenes would have been killed for his insolence!)

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 8, 2008

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