It's understood in
This best of all possible worlds
All's for the good in
This best of all possible worlds!
Objection! What about war?
Though war may seem a bloody curse
It is a blessing in reverse
When canon roar
Both rich and poor
By danger are united!
(Till every wrong is righted!)
'Tis war makes equal -- as it were -- The noble and the commoner
Thus war improves relations!
Once one dismisses the rest of all possible worlds
One finds that this is the best of all possible worlds.
If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?
from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide,
based on Voltaire’s novella by the same name
One day our Heroine read in a dog-eared book of fables
that the silver cup
Joseph planted in his baby brother Benjamin’s sack of grain
was actually a silver bowl
that Joseph filled with water
chunks of gold and precious stones
to thus divine the future.
This narrative set our Heroine wondering . . .
Did Joseph foresee
his own bones plucked from the Nile
and carried by Moses to the Promised Land?
Did Joseph foresee our Heroine the morning she slid from
that sac of water
into Gemini’s mutable air
her brain immediately wandering off-topic
(the need to suckle Momma’s milk)
her train of thought sidetracked from the teat
to Socrates drinking hemlock
bikers drinking beer
peering into their glasses asking
Is this fucking thing half-full or half-empty?
And did Joseph hear our Heroine
(her positive and negative poles alternating)
The glass is half-full.
But for what purpose was this world created then? asked Candide.
To drive us mad, replied Martin.
What a pessimist you are, said Candide.
That's because I've lived, said Martin.
Ah. This logic is worthy of the Talmud,
thought our Heroine.
Poppa would approve.
Her poppa who, siding with Hillel and Shammai,
agreed that since life is filled with travail
it is better for man not to have been created.
Here we are.
And since there may be a pony buried in the dung
let’s keep digging,
treat our fellows justly
and walk gently on the earth.
Oi, From where comes my sudden optimism?
our Heroine asked herself.
She who drank, exclusively,
from the half-empty glass.
Optimism, said Cacambo. What is that?
Alas, replied Candide. It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.
So let us try,
Before we die,
To make some sense of life.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow.
And to grow, our gardens need shit.
copyright 2017 Ozzie Nogg