The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 8 to 14)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 2 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 3: Stanzas 15 to 21

[8 of 83]
I tried to show one pol that he
Was not as wise as others said;
Though proud enough, he couldn’t see
By flattery he was misled.
He didn’t like my boorish truths,
For he was mocked by several youths.

[9 of 83]
And when I left that angry guy,
I realized the god was right;
The god made me a nagging fly
To pester smugness with my bite.
I know I don’t know anything—
This is the truth to which I cling.

[10 of 83]
I found that men of high repute
Were not as wise as simple chaps,
That lowly men were more astute
Than famous men with knowledge gaps.
But I continued with my quest
To put all wisdom to the test.

[11 of 83]
I went to see a poet next,
To ask him what his verses meant,
But as he read, he seemed perplexed—
He didn’t know his words’ intent.
The poets write as prophets do—
Not grasping what they hear or view.

[12 of 83]
I thought the craftsmen must know more
Than others who are not as skilled;
I found they have a knowledge store,
For they know how to weave and build.
Beyond their narrow specialty,
They’re just as lost as you and me.

[13 of 83]
The god’s own message seems to be
That human wisdom comes to naught;
I represent all men, you see—
A great exception I am not.
If any think that they are wise,
I test and prove them otherwise.

[14 of 83]
In service to the god I live,
Though earning only hate from men;
My time to all I freely give;
I cower not, I have thick skin.
The proof of my sincerity:
I live in simple poverty.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 3: Stanzas 15 to 21

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