Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Third Rock From The Sun

When Sisyphus was pushing the stone up the mountain,
Always near the top
As you remember, at the very tip of the height,
It lapsed and fell back upon him,
And he rolled to the bottom of the incline, exhausted.

Then he got up and pushed up the stone again,
First over the grassy rise, then the declivity of dead man’s gulch,
Then the outcroppings halfway, at which he took breath,
Looking out over the rosy panorama of Helicon;
Then finally the top

Where the stone wobbled, trembled, and lapsed back upon him,
And he rolled again down the whole incline.
He said a man’s reach must exceed his grasp,
Or what is Hades for?

He said it’s not the goal that matters, but the process
Of reaching it, the breathing joy
Of endeavor, and the labor along the way.
This belief damned him, and damned, what’s harder,
The heavy stone.

Josephine Miles

2 Responses

  1. What I was taught was Sysiphus's answer to the question of why; because as I move down the mountain I have a chance to reflect upon that which I have done.

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