Pascal Pensee #299 — a couplet


“Unable to strengthen justice, they have justified might”
True. ’tis what they do, but is it right?

Two things:

  1. I’ve been working my way through Pascal’s Pensées. In this section, he talks about the tension/balance between justice and might.

A longer quote from Pensée #298 says — “Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognized and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid justice, and has been declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus, being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.”

(gainsay definition — deny or contradict)

I roll these thoughts around in my head — justice and might — because we have a president who has promised to “make America great again.” Is that accomplished through justice or might?

2. To try to get back to writing some poems, I’m going a second round with “A Kick in the Head” — a book I picked up at a thrift store that gave examples of 29 different poetic forms.


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