Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

What We Want to Hear from Ourselves


All is not lost

Though heart and thought are tossed

About in something we don't know;

And just where to go

Is unseen;

And it is so easy to see the world as mean.

The reason all is not lost, is there is still

What we don't know; and what we don't know will

Perhaps be friendlier than we see.

A girl said, What I don't know is me,

For I can hardly say

I know myself in an adequate way.

Hurrah! then, for this girl and what we don't know.

It is better that we go to and fro

Than act as if ourselves were a known sum.

That has made, will make us glum.

Bravo! then, for our ignorance.

It is of such consequence.

Once we see ignorance as ignorance,

This can be part of a pleasing sequence:

We begin with a proud statement of what we don't know,

And lo—

We see a greater friend in what we know.