Hermit or Hero

Recluse or Revolutionary…Peasant or President…


Am I a hermit or a hero?

I fight between being either

The tendency to withdraw from the world

Versus the want to help people

To concern only with myself, or

To slay the dragon for the village


Recluse or Revolutionary?

Am I a recluse or a revolutionary?

I fight between being either

The tendency to withdraw from the world

Versus the want to enact change

To shut myself away, or

To courageously confront


Peasant or President?

Am I a peasant or president?

I fight between being either

The tendency to withdraw from the world

Versus the want to leads us into a new one

To plough the fields and be content, or

To navigate rough seas for the many


Two ends of the spectrum

Two tails of the distribution

Either end of the tunnel, but

It’s not a choice of Dover or Calais

Either/Or, The Sickness Unto Death,

I fear and I tremble as I take a leap of faith


The Karamazovian paradox –

Can you be both ends simultaneously?

I’m more Ivan than Dmitri, but

I’m more Alexei than both

For even a monk needs adventure

And not the confines of a monastery


Wise words for the ages

So spoke the sages

Obi-Wan when he fell

“Even in a palace it’s possible to live well”

A heroic hermit, that’s what they’ll call thee!

Well of course I know him…he’s me.


Hermit or Hero.


A poem by Martyn Foster.

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