Tag Archives: adulthood

Not So Simple: heroic sonnet

How simple it seems to be born again:
to never reach the stage of an adult,
but each time that you feel a growing pain,
to plead no contest and avoid the fault,
accepting being only just a child
with no responsibility to age,
nor consequence for acting dumb and wild
besides the reprimand of childhood’s cage.

How easy it must be to start anew
each time you slip in error, to reset
the game, and once again replay it through
retaining what in life you would forget,
thus seeming at advantage to proceed
as if your past mistakes had little cost,
so you advance while others stop to bleed
and you gain opportunities they lost.

Too bad that’s really not the way it goes;
just your belief won’t always make it so.

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Coming of Age … an ongoing diatribe … LOL

In the most recent issue of American Poet, the journal of the American Academy of Poets, there is an advertisement for a book, Coming of Age as a Poet: Milton, Keats, Eliot, Plath, written by Helen Vendler, who seems to have written a great number of books on poetry.
The blurb in the ad, which probably comes straight from the jacket sleeve (although having not read the book, I can neither confirm or deny this), starts with the following sentence, which I found most intriguing:

To find a personal style is, for a writer, to become adult; and to write one’s first “perfect” poem — a poem that wholly and successfully embodies that style — is to come of age as a poet.

To come of age, to reach maturity as a poet. Hmmmm … I wonder if that achievement is self-measured, or if its length is drawn against the yardstick of others. Which brings me to my current train of thought: as a Druid, I am more than a poet. I am a poet, musician, historian, philosopher, teacher, and priest. How does one come of age in a single discipline if one’s life path is multi-disciplinary? Does not maturity (or immaturity) in one area affect one’s level of achievement in all others? And what is the purpose of that maturity? For me, the ultimate goal of poetry is not simply to influence other poets; neither is the goal of any preacher or priest to influence only other preachers. At least, not that alone.

My audience is humanity. My goal, I suppose then would be to assist humanity in the recognition of that humanity. Or something like that.

Perhaps my self-questing is the result of having recently started rereading Plato’s Republic. Resulting in the question, what is the ultimate purpose of performing any action?

What is the reason a musician plays? A poet writes? A preacher preaches? A philosopher ponders? A teacher educates? Who is really their audience?
It boils down to a quip that I made several years ago when I contemplated writing music reviews. In order to change the way people think about music, first they must be thinking about music in the first place. So how to ensure that prerequisite dependency of thinking on a subject before launching into said dissertation? Who really cares if people who are on your wavelength are already listening? Aren’t words on their subject extraneous, like coals to Newcastle? Dr. Gene Scott, a Los Angeles based preacher, once said that there are two kinds of people in any congregation … there are saints in the making, and there are preachers. If you’re not a saint in the making, and you don’t like what the preacher in front is saying, you are obligated to form your own church. How that relates, I leave you to decide, dear readers.

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The Parable of the Sower

Sometimes, I think that I have borne a lot
of resentment, and fought against the world
believing to lead with your fist uncurled
meant weakness, and what you deserved, you got.

I lived as if my troubles were the most
important thing in the whole universe;
and those who hurt me, from me got it worse.
I thought of myself as a hungry ghost,

feeding on others misfortune and pain,
using their foibles as inspiration
for forming great theories, the creation
of a clever ruse to hide my disdain.

And karma? What was that to do with me?
My actions, like a pebble in the pond
sent waves echoing outward, far beyond
my line of sight. In my sad vanity

I imagined that being the center, source
from which this negativity bounded,
it was the ugly world that surrounded
the force for good that was myself. Of course,

I was wrong about some things, and yet right
about a few others. Like what you get
being what you deserve; if you forget
that one, your world view becomes wrapped so tight

a light, little touch can send you spinning
into a void of angry self-pity
where your soul’s balance and integrity
are lost in cruel games, and no one’s winning.

Sometimes, I think that I have borne a lot;
but then, I look at where my life is now,
looking back on the bitter weeds I plow
under, those tares I sowed in my own plot.

I realize my misspent days of youth
were but a preamble to my real life,
and that by reaping then that field of strife
I have prepared the soil to grow some truth.

28 JUL 2003

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