"I Am Your Life"
We started watching the Dead Poet’s Society last night because I’ve been wanting to see it again after hearing the news last week. When Robin Williams appeared on screen, I was hit with this sense of loss that I really hadn’t been able to feel yet by just hearing about his death. I’m sad that he is gone, but I hope that he has found peace.
Mostly because of the movie, I’ve been thinking about poetry. When I first started to learn about poetry, I absolutely hated it. I had a logical mind and never could come to same conclusion as the teacher about what the poem meant or why it was written. It wasn’t until I was told by my parents that we would have to move (after seven years of being in the same place) that I found a true appreciation for that thing called poetry. I was in my freshman year of high school when my parents told me my dad would have to change employers and we would be moving at the end of the school year. To a 15 yr-old, that meant the world was ending. I had friendships that took seven years to develop and I was getting through my first year of high school unscathed and now you want me to do WHAT? Needless to say, I was sad, angry, terrified, lost, etc. In the end, everything turned out fine, and in hindsight, that move turned out to be the best thing for me. But, experiencing all those raw emotions caused me to experience poetry in a whole new light, and I even ended up writing few poems myself during that time – one of which I will share at the end of this post.
As I wrote, I realized that only the poet truly knows why he/she wrote the poem and what he/she intended for audiences to take away, but what the poem actually means to me when I read it really depends on me and what I’m going through at the time. Does that make my interpretation wrong? Not at all. A poet uses poetry as a form of expression, like dance, art, or music. They put themselves, their passion, into the words on the page. A reader can then take what they want or need from the poem. Like with many forms of expression, poetry can spur emotion and make you feel sad, happy, empowered, connected, understood, or any number of other things. No one can tell you what you should feel or how you should interpret it, and it is OK for your opinions to be different from someone else’s. If a poem makes you feel or makes you pause and think, then that poem is a good one for you. To me, that is what matters.
Without further ado, I would like to share a poem I had written back in 2003. Please contact me first if you would like to quote or use the poem in any way. Thanks!
I Am Your Life