Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#100daysofwriting: day 15- my favorite poem

In 8th grade, my Honors English class hosted a beatnik-esque poetry night. It was great. We got to read poems of great poets and write our own poems and share those. We dressed in black turtlenecks and I stomped around in my Doc Martens. I found my all-time favorite poem that year, Fear by Pablo Neruda and fell in absolute love with Neruda after that. In 10th grade, I traveled to Spain and was enamored by romantic poetry and Spanish culture. It feels like a lifetime ago, but still so present and current for me.

The poem itself is a bit much to grapple with for an 8th grader, but I was always ahead of my time, contemplating mortality, asking profound questions about my purpose in this lifetime, less concerned with traipsing around the mall with my fellow peers.

So here it is. My favorite poem for a Tuesday evening.
Fear
By Pablo Neruda

Everyone is after me to exercise,
get in shape, play football,
rush about, even go swimming and flying.
Fair enough.

Everyone is after me to take it easy.
They all make doctor’s appointments for me,
eyeing me in that quizzical way.
What is it?

Everyone is after me to take a trip,
to come in, to leave, not to travel,
to die and, alternatively, not to die.
It doesn’t matter.

Everyone is spotting oddnesses
in my innards, suddenly shocked
by radio-awful diagrams.
I don’t agree with them.

Everyone is picking at my poetry
with their relentless knives and forks,
trying, no doubt, to find a fly.
I am afraid.

I am afraid of the whole world,
afraid of cold water, afraid of death.
I am as all mortals are,
unable to be patient.

And so, in these brief, passing days,
I shall put them out of my mind.
I shall open up and imprison myself
with my most treacherous enemy,
Pablo Neruda.

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