Imagine One Day Bring Able to Live in a Brick House, or Better Yet, Live Underwater (Translation of Ineptus, 2nd Century B.C.E. Alexandrian Poet)

I was convinced that if I could
just build a straw house
in a place where there was
no wind
or wolves,
I’d live happily ever after.

I found that place,
and I’ve built that house
but the cold air seeps through its straw walls,
and the straw is always wet and mildewy,
and I’m always having to repair the house,
for the animals come and graze on my house
and I’m the kind of person
who just can’t say no –
even to an ass.

If only my teacher in my youth
had only said “imagine one day being able to
live in a brick house, or better yet,
live underwater.”

And so it is with great peril
that the limits of the teachers
become the limits of the students.

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