Ron Kolm’s chapbook Divine Comedy
Just a reminder to check out our recent podcast with Ron Kolm about the poem “Divine Comedy” the same title as his new chapbook….
It’s a sunny Sunday so listen to it on the way to the Jersey Shore or whereever else yer hanging today and don’t forget your book of short stories by Chekhov our Flashback Friday feature….
Chekhov reading the idiom on a blustery day….
An excerpt from “Ward No. 6” by Anton….
“There is no real difference between a warm, snug study and this ward,” said Andrey Yefimitch. “A man’s peace and contentment do not lie outside a man, but in himself.”
“What do you mean?”
“The ordinary man looks for good and evil in external things — that is, in carriages, in studies — but a thinking man looks for it in himself.”
“You should go and preach that philosophy in Greece, where it’s warm and fragrant with the scent of pomegranates, but here it is not suited to the climate. With whom was it I was talking of Diogenes? Was it with you?”
“Yes, with me yesterday.”
“Diogenes did not need a study or a warm habitation; it’s hot there without. You can lie in your tub and eat oranges and olives. But bring him to Russia to live: he’d be begging to be let indoors in May, let alone December. He’d be doubled up with the cold.”
“No. One can be insensible to cold as to every other pain. Marcus Aurelius says: ‘A pain is a vivid idea of pain; make an effort of will to change that idea, dismiss it, cease to complain, and the pain will disappear.’ That is true. The wise man, or simply the reflecting, thoughtful man, is distinguished precisely by his contempt for suffering; he is always contented and surprised at nothing.”
“Then I am an idiot, since I suffer and am discontented and surprised at the baseness of mankind.”
“You are wrong in that; if you will reflect more on the subject you will understand how insignificant is all that external world that agitates us. One must strive for the comprehension of life, and in that is true happiness.”