Poetry reflects life in all its hues; it is the choice of words, which makes a difference to the thoughts and sentiments that poets share. It speaks of countless experiences and puts forward the essence of life, if you pay attention to the images through which poets communicate.
Poetry enables us to understand the finer nuances of life; it nurtures the most beautiful emotions of love, trust, acceptance and empathy. A poet teaches without forcing any philosophy as he just shares his reflections succinctly, leaving the rest to the imagination and understanding of the readers.
Poetry develops creativity, flexibility, interpretational skills and critical ability effortlessly. It makes you intuitive, only if you read it without any prejudices, learn to appreciate it and read it carefully.
Let me share some verses that have enriched my personality:
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?”
These lines from ‘Leisure’ by W.H.Davies have always stayed with me, a constant reminder to get down from the whirlwind of life and look at the flowers, the bees, the butterflies and dawn breaking at the horizon.
William Wordsworth’s wisdom made me understand that life is more than just earning and spending money.
“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” His poetry inspires us to lead a meaningful life and respect the spiritual link that connects man with nature and his supreme being.
John Keats defined beauty for me and nurtured my love for beautiful things that are mentioned in his poem ‘Endymion.’
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness;…but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Emily Dickinson’s poem helps us understand success:
“Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.”
Each line of my all time favorite poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling teaches profound lessons,
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;”… It encourages us to take pride in ourselves, develop patience, stay upright in the midst of lies, don’t get agitated by others’ demeanor, follow your dreams but don’t let dreams master you and avoid pretentions.
‘I am the People, the Mob’ by Carl Sandburg inspires us to rise against exploitation and social injustice. Look at his passionate appeal:
“When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.”
Walter D. Wintle’s poem ‘Thinking’ has stood by me in the darkest moments, exuding light on the paths of life – a reminder that life’s battles are won by “the man who thinks he can.”
“If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost a cinch – you won’t.”
‘Last Ride Together’ by Robert Browning inspires optimism.
‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost exhorts us not to regret the choices we make.
‘The Man He Killed’ by Thomas Hardy questions the futility of war, in which soldiers have to kill strangers just because he “Was out of work…” and happened to join infantry.
The Little Black Boy by William Blake says a lot with just one verse: “I am black, but Oh! my soul is white,”
I have mentioned just a few poems that have made a mark on my personality. Thank you for reading this. Do you have a poem in mind that has inspired you or conveyed a strong message? Please share your thoughts.
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