Friday, April 15, 2011

"The Boat Longing For the Sea"

It is National Poetry Month, and I hope to share some of my favorite poems as the month continues.

"George Gray", by Edgar Lee Masters, is a poem I discovered last semester because it is in the sophomore textbook. I immediately loved it and decided to read and discuss it with my sophomores. I particularly love the metaphor and symbolism of the boat.

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.

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