Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford

Vancouver Seawall, Spring

Sarah, my sister, shares my love of poetry. Every morning, I look forward to receiving her “good morning” e-mail that includes a poem. A few weeks ago, I received the poem, “Quest” by Carrie Williams Clifford.

“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.”

Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford

I read the words out loud to an empty room, but the message was too bold, too brilliant to be held within four walls. I had to read it in the open air and share it with you. As a global community, we are experiencing a new journey that demands our highest and best participation. Together, we will overcome.

And yet, our current solitude brings us to a personal journey that signifies a deeper, more intense reflection. “This is to discover, I must voyage far…” reminds us that distance is not defined by location, but upon the profound discovery of who we are.

Vancouver Seawall is a marvelous place to read poetry. Here again serendipity stepped in for as I started to recite, sunshine and snow came at the same time. It was my reminder to live, breathe, love and embrace moments given, for life continues to transform us as we, “chart and compass this unfathomed sea.”

From “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 African-American 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.”

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

4 thoughts on “Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford

  1. I enjoyed this poem and your conversation with me. I love the front photo of the geese, there is something good and about your walks along the seawall and other places. Sometime I will have to go on a short walk with you. I am especially interested in the poet. I am reading a trilogy of the Civil War now and am so impressed with the men and women who have made such a contribution to our lives.

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly. I have enjoyed looking back at poetry from the public domain. I especially appreciate that these poets are expressing, in poetry, their generation and the time in which they lived. They enable me to understand those times in ways that a history book of facts and events cannot. We need both the emotional and realism of history to get the full understanding.


    1. Fickle – spring is indeed unpredictable. Today we had thunder – always a setting for a good story line. I am delighted that we are still able to go for a walk in our neighborhood. It is good to feel the sun, wind, rain against our faces. Take good care of yourself. Hugs

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