In a poem entitled “The Little Duck,” the American philosopher Donald C. Babcock (1886-1986) depicts a duck riding the Atlantic “a hundred feet beyond the surf”:
This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn’t cold, and he is thinking things over.
There is a big heaving in the Atlantic,
And he is part of it.
He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree,
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher.
He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
Closely observing his subject, Babcock notes that the duck “can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.” And though the duck “probably doesn’t know how large the ocean is,” he “realizes it, and he “sits down in it.” He “reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity—which it is.”  (more…)