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No. 48, November 2003

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The Quest

by K.A.M. Hatcher
Midlothian High School, Virginia, USA

"One of the concepts that students initially find unsettling is the uncertainty of knowledge. Prior to TOK they have generally failed to consider its elusive nature, the pure pleasure of inquiry, or the wonder of discovery. The search for knowledge actually ends up captivating the seeker in a strange sort of way. In "The Quest" I have attempted to express these thoughts poetically.


'Twas autumn of my eighteenth year
When I, intrigued, began to hear
Minerva's owl, which came to woo
Me nightly with his question. Who
Indeed would trace the trail of truth
If not the idealistic youth?
He'd peer at me from piney perch,
Inviting me to join the search.
One eve, resolved to hesitate
No more, I ventured through the gate
Pursuing where he soared in flight.
Diana's pale, pearlescent light
But dimly lit untouched terrain
I trod. Did fate or chance ordain
The way my winged companion led?
His mistress, always just ahead,
Her heady scent borne on the breeze,
Elusive, wove among the trees
And drew us toward a distant peak
With tantalizing hide and seek
Till I at last on dawn-kissed crest
Beheld the object of my quest.
Spellbound I stood. There, bathed in light,
Minerva burst upon my sight,
Her simple beauty unconcealed,
Her sacred secrets now revealed.
I reached to claim this newly known
Alluring Wisdom as my own,
But slipping free from my embrace,
She beckoned to resume the chase
And vanished like the morning mist.
I followed, helpless to resist,
Thenceforth her faithful devotee,
The hunter captive of the prey.

K.A.M. Hatcher


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Forum is jointly published online at by the International Baccalaureate Organization and Lena Rotenberg Educational Consultant, © 2000-2004. Forum is a peer-reviewed publication aiming to offer original, thoughtful articles promoting Theory of Knowledge (TOK) teaching, in a fashion that is immediately useful to teachers. It is published twice per year in English (November and May) and twice per year in Spanish (February and August). Page last modified 2 August, 2004 .