My goal out-distances the utmost star,
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul;
I am my goal—my quest, to know myself.
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea,
Myself must plumb the boundless universe.
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery,
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind:
This is to discover, I must voyage far,
At last to find it in my pulsing heart.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 8, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Quest” originally appeared in The Widening Light (Walter Reid, 1922).
Carrie Williams Clifford
Carrie Williams Clifford was born in September 1862 in Chillicothe, Ohio. A poet and activist, she is the author of Race Rhymes (R. L. Pendleton, 1911) and The Widening Light (Walter Reid, 1922). A co-founder and the first president of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women, Clifford hired Black women for the Niagara Movement, a predecessor of the NAACP. She taught in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and worked as an editor for the Cleveland Journal. She died in 1934.
Date Published: 1922-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/quest-0