Thursday, April 10, 2008

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

I read this poem in junior high and it has stuck with me ever since. I like the image of a ghost reflecting on his own tombstone and how it represents his life, a life he wishes he'd done more with. And I think of it sometimes when I look at the framed picture I have in my living room: boats at rest in a harbor, with furled sails.

I just don't want to be a George Gray myself. :) This poem provides a little bit of inspiration to me in my own life: to seize chances in life while I have them. It almost makes me freak out a bit... what HAVE I done with myself so far? What should I be doing? Am I just letting chances pass me by? I need to get to work planning my next trip!!!! :)

(I don't get to go on the Berlin/Budapest trip, by the way... will just have to keep a lookout for the next one...)



Blogger Tracie said...

Oh! Oh my!

What an amazing poem! I love it. I'm going to have to remember this about inspiring!

So cool!!

4/10/2008 11:18 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

Spoon River has always held a special place in my heart, too. :)

4/12/2008 9:30 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

That was a great poem. I hope I can be as creative for my tombstone. I am not going to even try to write one until I have lived a bit longer, though.

4/17/2008 1:58 PM  
Blogger AdmiralDack said...

Great poem. Here's another (warning: it's long, but beautiful)

"The Building of the Ship"
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(And for your travel plans, a suggestion: Phoenix!!) :) -M

7/08/2008 2:55 PM  

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