Grave-dry rice milk, black moss, hemp fibers, bone-white sandalwood and orris root, and bog osmanthus.
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SOCRATES of Athens (c. 470 BCE – 399 BCE)
To Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He did his examining publicly, by elenchus, which is italics for “the question-and-answer analysis of ideas.” (We still call this “the Socratic Method” and it still bugs people.)
Socrates portrayed himself as a “gadfly” to the torpid “great and noble steed” of the state, and powerful Athenians agreed, though they were not universally grateful.
Socrates also claimed he had a mystical inner voice (his daimonion) and it dissuaded him from such deeds as seeking high office. Ineluctably, this daimonion and his many other peculiarities were weaponized by Athenians of high office.
Despite his patriotic service – as soldier, as divinely-appointed nuisance of Athens – Socrates was tried, convicted of impiety and corruption of the youth, and sentenced to death by drinking Conium maculatum, which is italics for poisonous hemlock.
Socrates remained Socrates to the last.
…I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defense, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live.
– Plato-s Apology
Inspired by anointing oils used in the philosopher’s time after partaking in public baths: orris root, ambergris accord, frankincense, olive blossom, black fig, and marjoram.
They call me Hanging Johnny
Away, boys, away!
But I never hanged nobody
So hang, boys, hang!
They says I hanged my graddy
And then I hanged my family
They says I hanged my mother
It is they and my brother
I hanged a rotten liar
But I hanged a bloody friar
They tells I hang for money
But hanging’s so bloody funny
We all will hang together
It’s all for better weather
I’d hang to make things jolly, I’d hang all wrong and folly, we all will hang together: hemp rope, red sandalwood, and white cedar.
Seaweed-wrapped planks of red oak, white pine, and cedar coated in thick algae, a tangle of hemp rope, cast iron cannons thick with rust, all enveloped in a ghostly gasp of white musk, bergamot, ambrette, and jasmine sambac.
The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was Greed. The winning entry was submitted by Melanie C:
Killed the last rhino for its horn.
Ambergris accord, orris root, and carrot seed.