|And he writes mysteries, too! And his niece is Penelope Fitzgerald!|
There once was a man who said: "God,
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."
Your astonishment's odd:
I am always about in the Quad
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by
-Ronald A. Knox
A variant on the old saying: if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, does it make a sound? Bishop George Berkeley, whom I recently read about in Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, had the answer to that. This is Reverend Knox's summary of Berkeley's argument, quoted in Russell.
And that reminded me of this other philosophical limerick on pre-destination:
There was a young man who said, "Damn!
I perceive with regret that I am
But a creature that moves
In predestinate grooves;
I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram.
-Maurice E. Hare
Be sure to go see the originator of Poem For A Thursday at Jennifer's Holds Upon Happiness. I'm posting this in advance but I will checking her poem out as soon as possible!
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