Happy Pig; Unhappy Man

Happy Pig; Unhappy Man short poem

Photo by stevendepolo

Unhappy man I am! I can’t tell
Why I dread the gods of heaven,
The purgatorial demons of hell,
The truths I need but haven’t;
Happy pig in a philosopher wig!
Apprentice me earnest and true –
Which to embrace, which to rue,
Unhappy man or happy pig?
‘Sad Socrates,’ the hog retorts
In tacit snores and tactics snorts –
‘Be you wise or cometh short –
No gods kill us for their sport;
Live life as one happy pig
Die death as one happy man;
Only imagined gods wear wig;
Who fears no gods happy am!
Get a life! Live or die your tale,
Stop chasing your airy-fairy tail!
Life and death duly go the round;
Entrance is exit come around.

Notes for Happy Pig; Unhappy Man
This poem is a satirical ‘take’ on an age-old debate. Over two millennia ago, Socrates asserted that ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ and purportedly, asked if it was better to be a happy pig or an unhappy man. The 19 century philosopher John Stuart Mills rephrased the debate thus: “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides.” In the poem, the second persona takes on the role of the ‘other party’. It is ironic that he is a ‘happy pig in a philosopher’s wig’- whether literally or metaphorically is left to the reader’s judgment but the pig offers an ‘other party’ answer worth pondering. Wigs were once fashionable in the upper strata of European society. A man with the pretentious ambitions of mounting the social ladder was called a ‘pig in a wig’.

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Arrow of Time

Rate the poem
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
We are posting your rating...

Have something to say about the poem?

Poems you will love

Give your feedback / review for the poem

2 Comments on "Happy Pig; Unhappy Man"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest
J.rid
Member

Ha Ha Loved it Lawrence well now they say ignorance is BLISS. I have had some bliss and some enlightenment and I do know which sometimes–I prefer.

wpDiscuz

Tears Of Man

Tears Of Man short poem

Tears of Man You have the right to remain silent. Do you make the choice or remain violent? Do you evolve and become more civilized? Or do you choose to stay belligerent? You choose to be healthy, like you are

Old Man Sitting

Old Man Sitting short poem

The bones are brittle as are the thoughts they crumble events of yesterdays that never happened things that happened not remembered today becomes another time faces and events mingle become a crazy quilt He sits and stares unaware of a

He Is The Man That

He Is The Man That long poem

Who said that dawn doesn’t know him? Yes … Who has said that? He is secreting night when the sunset flows to poem end ; the flute, which surrendered stealthily to the day song, it runs away from the maze

The Man

The Man long poem

The pressure in his head at times was unbearable like a vice clamped around his forehead having it twisted a 1/4 –turn at a time and when he finally thinks it can’t get anymore painful then bad timing comes around

Man And God

Man And God short poem

When man mortal with a title Becomes vile and self righteous He walks around with the Bible Holy acts and all sacrilegious Carrying LBGQT rainbow banners Hailing the devil’s temporal empire Accomplished false pretenders Adorned in bright priestly attire Those