Shakespeare gives his villains the best speeches—not because Shakespeare is villainous, but because he’s a good teacher.

Philosophy is the best teacher, and teaching sometimes features bad examples—in order to be good.

A good speech is always good.

Even when Iago is giving it.


Because Iago is giving it.

If you are not a good philosopher, you are no poet.

In this final Scarriet Poetry March Madness First Round contest (our 32nd essay) we have two lines of an arresting philosophical nature.

Here is the first by Susan Wood:

The simple fact is very plain. They want the bitterness to remain.

How can a line be better than a poem?

Quite easily. We sometimes see too little. But we always see too much. And for the most part, “say” can substitute for “see.”

The tantalizing aspect of this line is that yes, people do hold onto bitterness unnecessarily, so that it destroys themselves and others.

And yet, it may be a good thing for the “bitterness” to remain, for it may inspire—in those who remember it—all sorts of good—if the bitterness does not infect them.

The “simple fact” alluded to is that in either case, it is obvious to others when you “want” the bitterness to remain.

People are not as involuntary as they seem.

And yet, sometimes we can be blind for a time, and not see the obvious. Lawrence Raab:

nothing truly seen until later

But isn’t it amazing how often we do truly see at the very first moment?  And all the later complications are wrong?

But let us not argue with this line.

It will either win, or lose.

Now all of the lines in this, the 2016 Scarriet Poetry March Madness First Round, have been seen.

The final line sinks into abyss.

And we will see you later.





  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    April 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Please do not be on board the final line.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      April 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      That is, stay afloat, happily.

  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    April 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    A poem about things not always being called by their real names which sometimes happens in the World.and confuses innocent people. As Rod Serling might have said in the intro to one of his episodes: “File this one under “T” for too good to be true.


    such a pink cloud hides the Ministry
    of Fear and Intimidation that little children Outloud
    ask for directions, caramels, balloons there

    unaware or else I’ve got it backwards and
    the sign in Spring pastels reads: Candybox City
    and a voice on the line so pretty

    in the audio portion of the program says:

    oh. welcome children to the Ministry of Pink Clouds.
    and you really hope, oh you do. that at least they’ll have
    light refreshments, a little cake or two

    since standing in a queue for groceries

    wasn’t that productive in the olden days, the golden days
    the days beyond recall when you wore your embroidered shawl
    to the Ministry of P’s and Q’s;

    what else would you do while the sunset fades…
    oh, now it’s getting late; I’m off to The Ministry
    of While You Wait a one stop shop

    where stars come out and sudden skirmishes pop
    you know: wars, mere false alarms.
    and now they’re tarring over-

    (what used to be)
    The Ministry of Felicity-
    Thank God.

    mary angela douglas 18 april 2016

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