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Head’s Up poetry column: Parable of the Perfidious Proverbs

A Poetry Column By Philip Appleman


How better is it to get wisdom than gold.

Money buys prophets and teachers, poems and art,

So listen, if you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?

He that spareth his rod hateth his son.

That line gives you a perfect way of testing

Your inner feelings about child molesting.

He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

But here at the parish we don’t find it overly hard

To accept his dirty cash or credit card.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.

That’s just why the good Lord made it mandatory

To eat your heart out down in Purgatory.

Wisdom is better than rubies.

Among the jeweled bishops and other boobies

It’s also a whole lot rarer than rubies.

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.

Trusting your heart may not be awfully bright,

But trusting Proverbs is an idiot’s delight.

From Karma, Dharma, Pudding & Pie

© Philip Appleman.

Philip Appleman is a Dis­tinguished Pro­fessor Emeri­tus at In­dia­na Uni­ver­si­ty. He is editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Darwin. He and his playwright wife, Marjorie Appleman, are both “After-Life” Members of FFRF.

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