2 The Fifth Philosopher’s Song

The Fifth Philosopher’s Song by Aldous Huxley

Sue Butler’s choice number 2.

Read the poem here

My second choice is The Fifth Philosophers Song by Aldous Huxley – which interestingly I have struggled to access on the internet, finally coming upon it on an English/Hungarian site!

I first came upon it as a teenager. It found it compelling, a revelation. All of the poetry I had read until then had been traditional, pastoral, romantic, formal. Strangely, considering the final line, I always received it as a message of individualism as well as serendipity. The poem resonated with a teenager in the grip alternately of existential angst and apathy but I have continued to return to it over the years. I love it’s pace and rhythm. Despite the downbeat ending I enjoy the way it always asks me quite simply what I am for.

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