The Logical Conclusion

by Ezra Pound

When earth's last thesis is copied From the theses that went before, When idea from fact has departed And bare-boned factlets shall bore, When all joy shall have fled from study And scholarship reign supreme; When truth shall "baaa" on the hill crests And no one shall dare to dream; When all the good poems have been buried With comment annoted in full And art shall bow down in homage To scholarship's zinc-plated bull, When there shall be nothing to research But the notes of annoted notes, And Baalam's ass shall inquire The price of imported oats; Then no one shall tell him the answer For each shall know the one fact That lies in the special ass-ignment From which he is making his tract. So the ass shall sigh uninstructed While each in his separate book Shall grind for the love of grinding And only the devil shall look. Against the "germanic" system of graduate study and insane specialization in the Inanities.