(On this memorial of Blessed Duns Scotus, here is a poem on his near-contemporary, Saint Thomas, by high school senior, Brendan Brunet. If Mr. Brunet thinks that the works of the ‘Universal Doctor’ are very dense and impenetrable, what might he think of the work of Duns Scotus, called the ‘Doctor Subtilis’, as his works are so subtle, that only experts can really get them. Heidegger did his thesis on Duns Scotus, and try reading him. But all tongue-in-cheek aside, Saint Thomas did write his Summa for ‘novices’ in theology, but, like any great master of his art, what seems simple, is actually of inestimable profundity).
Dear Saint Tom is very dense
Rarely does he make much sense.
I read a single phrase—then pause.
What does he mean by such a clause?
And what of things like ends and cause
And all he has to say of laws?
Speaking of laws, I have to say
It is my hope that some fine day
There’ll be a law for stopping those
Who have no sense of truth and chose
Ridiculous names for books they wrote.
Under such a rule, I note,
That Thomas would be justly brought
Before the legal court and taught
That one should never play at games
But rather give books proper names.
However did it come to be
We call Tom’s book a SUMMARY
Of Catholic theology?
He surely owes an apology.
Well, now on second thought perhaps
It’s good that Tom was feeling lax,
For if his simple works confound,
It’s good he didn’t get profound.