Tuesday, September 13, 2005

it is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid

George Gray

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

- Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology


Anonymous pialpha said...

a poem that means a lot to me. A poem which keeps knocking back into my life at various moments - just as if I hadn't learnt anything yet...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last 3 lines of this poem are the quote attached to my high school yearbook photo circa 1968. I had forgotten the poem so am very glad to find it again.

3:21 AM  

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