Plato banned the Poets from his state, 

……Yet said, if one could make a sound defense 

……In lilting verse with cogent arguments 

That they do more than merely imitate 

An imitation and dissimulate, 

……He’d take them back again. And ever since 

……Our best minds have been trying to convince 

His cautious Guardians of their mistake. 


Sir Philip Sidney laid a firm foundation 

……In his divine “Defense of Poesy”: 

The Poet gives us Virtue’s exaltation 

……More strong than History or Philosophy, 

Concretely shows through his imagination 

……Not just what is, but more: what ought to be.


From Stars through the Clouds: The Collected  Poetry of  Donald  T. Williams, 2n edition (Lantern Hollow Press, 2020).  Used by permission.

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Citation Information

Donald T. Williams, “The Challenge of ‘The Republic’,” An Unexpected Journal: The Imaginative Harvest of Holly Ordway 4, no. 4. (Advent 2021), 201-02.

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