What the Unicorn Is

ca. 1602 — The Maiden and the Unicorn by Domenichino — Image by © Alinari Archives/CORBIS

Have you ever seen an actual live unicorn? What does it look like? How does it behave? How would you feel in the presence of this one-horned beast?

Just what is the unicorn, anyway? you may implore.

I’d love to answer that question, but prose cannot do the unicorn justice. Its essence can only be conveyed with poetry. And so I’ve written the following poem, explaining just what the unicorn is:


The unicorn cannot be fathomed by the rich,
Nor grasped by the poor.
No amount of money can buy it.
No vow of poverty can conjure it.
Many paths lead toward it,
But it is never found at the ends of those paths.
It cannot be summoned,
Except by its wordless name.
If you let it go, it will leave,
Unless you let go of the letting go.
A tamed mind cannot find it
Unless that mind goes wild again.
It is neither proud nor humble,
Happy or sad,
nor bad.
It is nothing.
Yet it is everything.

I hope this poem has dispelled all the mystery.

Categories: Inspiration

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