There are some lines that just stay with us forever. They make such an impression that we find ourselves reciting them time and again. So The Week asked some readers, in particular poetry enthusiasts, to share such discoveries and tell us what it means to them. From Wordsworth to our very own slam poet, their picks take us through a treasure trove of various commendable works.
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I’m someone who enjoys solitude a lot and I could immediately relate to this Wordsworth verse. It’s an extract from his poem, The Daffodils, and here he talks about the feelings and experiences he has had while going on his solitary walks. His observations and reflections really struck a chord with me.
Further, it has also given me some answers. I may be the happiest when I’m in my own head space but I have always wondered why that might be. Reading this poem made me realize that it isn’t an unusual trait after all. I haven’t been able to explain my love for solitude with such finesse but Wordsworth really helped capture my sentiments and translate it to words. This is what I love about poems. I admire how it can aptly express emotions and feelings in just a couple of lines. Explaining it through an essay or an article just wouldn’t be the same.
Expose yourself to your deepest fears: after that, fear has no power and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.
‘’You are free’’
Jim Morrison isn’t only a legendary rockstar, he earned quite the reputation as a poet too. Initially it was his showmanship that appealed to me but as I grew up, I developed a real appreciation for his songs. Morrison spoke a lot about things that are known and unknown in this world. It seemed like he was fixated on the idea and he always expressed his wish to guide his fans through these things.
This gave birth to his brand of philosophy. Personally, his poetic lyrics have always fascinated me. There seems to be many layers to the meanings of his songs and it’s always challenging and fun trying to understand them all. I chose the above line in particular because it has really helped me shape my perspective towards life. It gives me the courage to reach out and achieve my wildest fantasies. Plus, it also serves as a reminder to be more accepting of people around me.
Aakrit Bikram Silwal
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Whenever my responsibilities or duties start to feel like a burden and it becomes too heavy for me to carry, at times even making me want give up, the verses of Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I rise’ rings true with every word. This poem reminds me about Angelou who shook the world with her ideals and chose to never give in. It fills me with a profound sense of determination to stand up for myself.
The world can be a bitter place. There is so much deception, cruelty, failure and injustice. During those instances, it becomes incredibly tempting to quit. If we think about it, it’s scary how easy it is to let go of our ideals and desires. So these lines have proven to be very significant for me. They certainly aren’t just another cliché’. It has actually helped me understand my current plight and also continues to serve as a big reassurance.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth Robert Frost
I remember reading Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ back in school itself. Later on, since it was in the syllabus, I came across these lines during college years as well. So as I have grown up, my understanding of this poem too has evolved. Today, I appreciate how relatable these words and sentiments are. We all have our destinations picked out for ourselves.
However, there are many crossroads along the way and it is always tricky to choose a path for ourselves. What’s more, this applies to all facets of our life from education, career to relationships. So it can certainly be overwhelming at times which is why I like this analogy of Frost. I believe we should all do ourselves a favor and consider ourselves as travelers in life. This is all a journey. These lines encapsulate the sort of healthy perspective that can really help people go far.
It’s only been a while
I started to believe you were real.
Real as the rocks, I stand upon here in the high mountains.
stand there, Ujjwala Maharjan
I have always enjoyed a good metaphor and I also believe that as a poet, it is crucial to set the scene to help transport the reader. I choose these lines from Ujjwala Maharjan’s poem because I think it excels in both these criteria.
This is dedicated to a lover who was far away but has now returned. As you go through the poem, one can sense their history but all isn’t that simple. There are feelings and issues that need to be resolved. Now while all of that is being expressed, I really enjoyed the picture that Maharjan paints with her words. The readers can easily imagine the characters’ conversation as if they were watching a movie. I don’t read many poems that deal with relationships. However, this one really touched me. I enjoyed indulging in the romantic atmosphere that its words created.
My heart needs no mending.
I am not broken, I’m just a little more explosive. Victoria Morgan
I stumbled across this Morgan poem because a close friend of mine was going through a tough breakup. I wanted to help her feel better. I ended up giving her this poem, ‘How to Succeed in a Heartbreak’ and it worked like a charm. The title just says it all. The poem is about dealing with failed relationships. Now this may have proven to be a very common topic of choice for poets throughout the centuries but Morgan’s fresh and quirky approach makes a big impact on the reader.
Throughout the poem, her words are incredibly comforting as it makes us realize that we are not alone. We’ve all had that heart break, that gut wrenching feeling, but as the poem proceeds to end, she switches gears from consoling us to giving the reader the strength to move on. The message is to basically appreciate yourself. Those two lines really make the perfect ending to a cleverly written little gem of a poem.