My favorite poem about historians

After looking back over my previous post, I figured now was as good a time as any to present the following poem. It has at least a grain of truth, and it nicely dovetails with my blog’s title:

The Lesson for Yesterday

Historians, rather like primitive moles,
Live purposeless lives in particular holes
Which they dig with their noses, or else with their toeses,
(A few have invented small shovels and hoeses).
They’re burrowing blindly in Byzantine tunnels
Constructed like sinuous serpentine funnels;
They’re burrowing busily, back to the past:
A steady regression to nowhere – fast.

From David Hackett Fisher, Historian’s Fallacies, p. 130.

Making mountains out of molehills – it’s what historians do. But just ask William III how important molehills can be.


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