Who shall deliver my soul from the words of men?...
Harken ye loud and presumptuous ones, wind-strewn children of your own caprice:
We are parched beside your well-springs, we are starved by the meat you offer us, we have grown blind by the light of your lamps.
You are like a road that leads nowhither, like so many small steps taken around yourselves.
You are like a driving flood, the sound of your gushing is forever in your mouth.
You are the cradle of your own truth, tomorrow you shall be its grave.
—Gertrude von Le Fort
I had never heard of this German poet until I read an excerpt from a poem called "Return to the Church" in Magnficat. Presumably this is a translation. This is an excerpt from the excerpt, and the title of the post is mine. I especially like the last line. The whole thing seems to me an accurate description of much (or most) contemporary intellectual life.