This passage from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses,” based on the character in Homer’s Odyssey, continues: “Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever and ever when I move. How dull it is to pause.” Indeed! How dull the world would be without fine lines. And yet, I find that returning to these older works sometimes requires a nudge when there are so many interesting new books. “Best of” collections can remind us of beloved friends like this who want to “follow knowledge like a sinking star beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”
Leslie Pockell, editor, The 100 Best Poems of All Time (New York: Grand Central Publishing, Warner Books, Inc., 2001), p. 80.