Sunday, May 30, 2021

Be Like the Octopus

Heart, turn your mottled character
To match all your friends, mixing
The temperament each one has.

Keep the temperament of an octopus,
Much-twisting creature, which looks just like
Whichever rock it keeps company with.

At one moment follow along this way,
At another be otherwise in your skin.
Wisdom, you know, beats rigidity.

Theognidea 213-218, translated by The Lion of Chaeronea

The Theognidea is a collection of poems said to be by Theognis of Megara, 6th c. BC, but probably containing works by others.

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