As a small child, age eleven, I was offered five dollars to memorize
Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF”.
At that time poetry was just a collection of words
on a page and the money was more important.
Life is full of ups and downs, and keeping you head held high may make
you look and feel taller, but it won’t alter your mood.
You can always try looking on the bright side, but staring through a pin hole to prevent light blindness won’t make you happy either.
If you are depressed or sad, it is going to take a lot more to raise your spirits
than old adages and overly familiar clichés about
“rainbows and pots of gold” or “clouds and silver linings”
or “the sun coming out tomorrow”.
After having raised two children on my own, I have come to realize
that everyone has personal issues that they wrestle with.
As parents we try to help our children grow beyond us.
We try to protect them from the very life they are
suppose to live and experience on their own.
We must find our own strength and directions.
It is very easy to lose contact with the ordinary realities of life.
As individuals, it is up to us to make sense of the
world around us, the world we live in.
The right poem, whether old or new, can help us relax, gain a
new perspective, find comfort or just celebrate the life we have,
the life we so often take for granted.
In doing so, there is one cliché or old adage that holds its truth,
“A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Over the years I have come to realize that words come alive
and personify the power and passion of the poet.