Pinch of Pepper:
A symposium is literally a "drinking together". The Symposium by Plato is a dialogue in which various male speakers take turns offering their personal perspective on the subject of Love. Agathon, the host, had just won first prize for a dramatic play and invited some of his friend's back for a drinking fest and food to celebrate. As was the custom, guests would recline on couches arranged in a circle. After they had eaten, hearty servings of wine would be served. With no females present, the guests would converse, give speeches and deliver mock orations which many times ended in orgiastic practices. Plato's symposium took a bit of a different turn and the orgy was only of wine and words.
When it's Socrates' turn to speak, he attributes his insights into the nature of Love to Diotima, a philosopher, priestess and one of the most influential women thinkers of her time.
Added Pinch of Pepper:
Diotima tells Socrates of Poros and Penia: "In honor of Aphrodite's birthday the gods held a feast. One of the guests was the god Poros, who was god of Abundance. When the feast was over, Penia also known as Poverty, came about the gates to beg. Poros who had overindulged himself on nectar, went into the garden of Zeus and fell into a deep drunken sleep. Penia, seeing him there and contemplating her own dire straits, decided to seduce him. After lying down at his side she conceived their son Eros or Love."
Diotima taught Socrates that Love, the child of Poros and Penia, Lack and Plenty, was a spirit of the between. She told him that Love held the world together and was the momentum that delivered prayers and messages between gods and man. She told him that Eros was known best through wisdom and that the love of wisdom was the love of Eros.
A sentimental sprite of
Stravinsky's Spring Rite
Dissonant days gone by
Urged a freckled face boy to
And capture a callow girl's eye...
Chaotic waters of untamed tides
Turbulent rapids of adolescent selves
Tumbling into Alice's rabbit hole
Childhood frozen on never ending shelves
On a bed of naked innocence
Nascent bodies clad in truth
Flesh on flesh as heart to soul
Delusions of unfledged youth
The Delphic dictums of ancient Greece
Prompt dialectics amongst silhouetted selves
Seasoned emotion and intellect
Have untethered the throes of Eros' spells
The Symposium at Agathon's
An orgy of verbal delight
Through alcohol and dialogue
Disrobed Love with their drunken sight
Socrates decreed with intellectual ease
That Love dwells in the depths of Man's mind
Wisdom he claims is Love's nature and aim
Questions are His depth and design
Diotima the philosopher and feminine scholar
Taught Socrates of Poros and Penia
In the garden of Zeus, drunk and seduced
Poros impregnated Penia a pauper
The conception of Love their child thereof
Is the form of body and beauty
Eros she claims is born of the brain
Wisdom His allegiance and duty
Knowledge is gained through perception and pain
Through insight and intellectual wealth
Found in between is Love and his means of
Teaching us "Know thyself"
A fay of Day has paved a way
Through falling leaves of Love's design
That freckled faced boy who once gave me joy
Dwells on the pages of this poet's lines.
© Frecklewood 2014