Leaving the ivory tower

I was young and naive
and among kindred souls
in a harbor for curiosity,
in a comradeship in inquiry
hoped to be.

I worked hard and somehow shone,
but I refused to please and bow.
Loads of darkness and philistinism,
pettiness and nepotism,
I came to see.

My heart-mind understood
that something wasn’t right,
I had grown a stranger,
and no longer felt part.
And so I left.

I did not slam the door,
as Nietzsche did.
but just as T’ao Yuan-Ming,
calm and resolute,
walked out of that inn.

I now stand alone out in the unknown,
and the wisdom of ancient sages implore:
admired spirits! help me inside grow
a garden of serenity, understanding and joy
upon which the Sun will always gently glow.

Marcus Antoninus
(on recently leaving my last academic post)


Author: Marcus

Philosopher, poet and lover of life.

13 thoughts on “Leaving the ivory tower”

    1. True, particularly those of us who cannot tolerate corruption, injustice and hypocrisy, and are somehow exposed to scorn and isolation. Better to learn to live with that. Thanks for the comment.


  1. Never compromise your values. Those who do are the true losers in life.
    Good luck in finding the right culture, which can be difficult. Academia is in a bit of a mess at the moment, is it not?


    1. Thanks for your comment, Max. Exactly! I agree with you, your values are possibly among the few thing you can really have.
      Academia is a mess. Right. Too many qualified people for too few positions. In a sense, it is just another human environment, but the carrying capacity of that ecosystem has been reached long ago. All the best!


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