Edgar Lee Masters

(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Charity Tafoya (5/28/2005 10:39:00 AM)

    I first read this poem in high school and felt an extreme connection to it. Whenever I feel like I'm in a rut or that I'm cowarring from lifes challenges I go back and read George Gray. (Report) Reply

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