Clerical Conversations (Sixth Letter)

What follows below is the latest in a series of letters sent between two rival clerics, Professor Cesario de Torium and Professor Recamundus de Gelgadongo. In the most recent letter, the order of formality has been lifted and the two have begun their assault upon one another and their respective bodies of work, starting with Prof. Recamundus’s attack upon Prof. Cesario’s poem about the sunset. While the tension has been building for a while now, it has reached a point where the two are probably best to avoid seeing each other in public in any fashion, in fear of them coming to blows physically instead of just rhetorically.

Professor Recamundus,

Allow me to explain the subtext of the poem you just recited to me in your recent letter. While it might not be readily apparent to the average listener, I believe this is ample time to let you in on a little secret about my poem. By the way, the poem is called ‘Skyward Eyes Reflection’, and it’s perhaps one of my most quoted works, in case you were wondering.

The words were never really about a sunset at all. While to the untrained ear it may appear so, one would be remiss to neglect the underlying emotional impact about the progression of the poem. Perhaps you with your phylactery full of your own work, you might have not considered the possibility that the words themselves were only a device to achieve an emotional response to the reader. The intention was always to invoke a certain sadness in the listener, but not to overtly explain why they are so afflicted.

Perhaps you have spent too much time sitting in the center of the circle and not enough time in the perimeter to understand what it feels like to simply listen, rather than to analyze and judge the merits of the words.

If you have not yet understood, the poem is itself about profound loss. The Sun represents the light in one’s life, with the reflection of the water being the self-reflecting nature of someone who has experienced such great loss, understanding that as each moment passes, the happiness in their life begins to fall away further and further until there remains only a dim, dark husk of the life one once had, nearly moments ago. The people in the poem represent the stages of life that now in retrospect seem out of reach for the one suffering the loss. The kites flying and children playing are now a mere memory in their head, one that is entirely unattainable in this juncture of life.

I believe now, in light of this revelation, you shall also see how your own argument has seen its sunlight set beyond the lake. While you might have thought yourself bright, I have had the unfortunate duty to sunset this belief on your behalf.

My dear professor, anger is not befitting a man of your stature. I would have liked to have extend to you a chance to study here in Torium, where we can explain the importance of not only understanding emotional value of poetic ventures, but also the importance of controlling one’s emotion, but it appears that you might be well beyond the reach of feasibly bringing under your control the fire burning within you. Perhaps it shall serve you in some other manner, but until it has been drowned, I shall be unavailable to extend a tutelage at this time.

Please accept my humblest regards.

Professor Cesario

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