“Futility” by Dorothy Pilgrim


by Dorothy Pilgrim

To rise from earth’s low level for a space
And soar to giddy heights of mind’s delight;
To hold brief commune with the great, a sight
Of greatest truths to catch; and then this place
Of slowly muddling things to reach; to face
The thought that through your life you’ll fight
In vein to see again the splendid sight; —
This is the fate of those who seek to trace
The paths of mighty thoughts; the fate of those
Whose little minds one spec of greatness bear.
For though they feel the urge to rise again
They can but fall once more from where they rose,
They cannot grasp and hold the truth; they stare
Amazed, afraid, ashamed, that they are only men.

“Futility,” by Dorothy Pilgrim originally published in Forum (1938, City College of San Francisco).

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