Tolkien’s Refutation of Plato

Socrates said he was waiting to hear
An answer to whether it’s useful to see
The world through reflections that are poetry
Or whether it’s better to lay things out clear.

He’s waiting, with Glaucon, it’s poetry’s turn
To argue with Socrates: good for the soul
Or pretty fake shadows obscuring the goal?
The question’s still open, they’re eager to learn.

Tolkien would explain that all art still can save,
It isn’t mimesis, artists subcreate,
Art comes around corners to help us be great
Grabs us hard by the soul and heads out of the cave.

So would you learn wisdom, learn virtue, do well?
Art’s a friend at our side as we try to excel.

(Originally posted on Daily Nous, May 1st 2015)