mad-professor“There are no laws, save Want alone,”
The mad professor said,
“That govern the affairs of men.
“So get out of your head

“Archaic thoughts of Nature’s Laws.
“Reactionary nonsense!
“The only constant we confront
“Is that there are no constants.

“All the best minds now agree
“There is no Human Nature.
“The only laws to which we bow
“Come from the Legislature.

“And don’t bring up rules that pertain
“To etiquette and conduct.”
The mad professor shook his head.
“That’s all a social construct.”

Still as stone, the students sat,
Enchanted by the words
That freed them from the bonds of men
And chained them to the dirt.

The mad professor plied his trade
The same as years before.
Scripted schemes of sophistry
Had opened up the door

To thoughts that slowly poisoned thought,
To words best left unsaid,
For fear they take man’s mental might
And leave an empty head.

The students did not realize
Their mad professor’s diction
Did naught but replace simple truth
With complicated fiction.

The students left class quite unsure
Of truths within their station,
But felt supremely confident
That they could govern nations.

Do not suppose these anti-thoughts
Are merely idle chatter!
Stand vigil over hard-won truths
Or little else will matter.

Ideas are fire within men’s minds.
Some succor and inspire.
But others burn away to ash
The will to climb still higher.

Age-old wisdom, in a flash,
Can be erased by teachers:
Si monumentum requiris,
Tantum circumspice.

Books on the topic of this poem may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.


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