This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Two Fools

Sometimes we think about things too much in a quest for certainty that is not there. We can become prisoners of our own intellect.

Two Fools

Two fools in disputation stood
Before a crossroads in a wood
As each in turn was heard to say,
"No! No! We go the other way!"

Each man maintained his way was best
For it was shorter than the rest
And named a hundred reasons why
No other road could qualify.

And so the dawn to dusk was spent
In unproductive argument—
Two locked at last, as evening came,
In paralyzing counterclaim.

There came an old man hobbling by;
The fools entreated that he try
Their case and as a judge preside
To help them then and there decide.

The man agreed, but stopped them short
And said, "I know, by your report
That each of you has made a case
With many factors all in place.

"A hundred facts for each, you say,
And neither hundred can outweigh
The other set of valid grounds
That each of you so well propounds.

"Then flip a coin; by random chance
Proceed without a backward glance.
Sometimes it seems to me just so:
The more we think, the less we know."

© 2005 Jeffrey Hull


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