Snobs (After Reading A Wicked Company) by Claudia Morrison

Rich snobs detest intellectual snobs,
who in turn detest social snobs,
who in their view have no natural right
to feel superior, only an acquired taste
            for power.

Natural superiority, like aristocracy,
comes from birth,
but it’s the gift of intelligence,
not inherited property rights.

The intellectual snob claims suzerainty
over a more spacious kingdom, his own mind.
It’s a reflex for him to look with incredulity
on the pretentions of barons and counts,
or those who sail around in yachts and have lots
of shoes.
It does at time amuse,
but no more than the antics of Hottentots.

Whatever would I serve Diderot
if he came to dinner?
A North American meal of burgers and beans and corn,
with a view of the lake at sunset,
cicadas and loons for music.

And I’d serve words, of course
(should he be in want),
and plentiful wine to ameliorate his dismay
at what had become of his brave hopes
for a world of enlightened Reason.

I‘d ask what he thought of the God particle.
I’d show him my iPad.


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