Thales of Miletus

This poem was written from the perspective of Thales of Miletus (a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher) and briefly summarizes his thought. It was written using iambic tetrameter and quatrains (abcb).

I tried to understand the world
Without poetic myths of gods;
Observing all phenomena,
I sought to break through their facades.

In Western thought, I was the first
To analyze the world of facts;
A scientist, I thought things through,
I wished to know how nature acts.

Reducing matter to one thing,
I simplified the world of forms;
Thus water was my basic stuff,
It changes when it cools and warms.

Since water moves and changes forms,
And every being needs it too,
It is the basic stuff of life:
It’s solid, liquid, mist, and dew.

The earth is flat and water holds
All lands and islands in their place;
When ripples from this water move,
Then tremors shake the earthly base.

Though water is material,
A god is found within all stuff;
His is the mind that animates,
Thus, god and water are enough.

(written December 2019)