by Ron Dultz
For more than forty years, I have specialized in writing “Philosophical Poetry.” Many of my poems focus on serious psychological topics. It has long been my belief that many delicate feelings, subtle truths, innovations of thought, astute observations on the nature of man/woman, and soaring inspirational moments that titillate the senses can be encapsulated in a poem of average length (usually 100-300 words). If a Writer cannot say something poignant and relevant, with clarity, in the space of a poem of average length, I believe that Writer has not earned the right to engage the reader in a much longer literary format, such as a novel or treatise.
Here is a single example of the hopefully thought-provoking writing I undertake in trying to use poetry as a means of documenting the human condition, unlocking its mystery, and enshrining its many esthetic and noble manifestations for posterity to repeatedly experience:
OUR HUMAN FRAILTY
by Ron Dultz
We humans are supposed to be brave, strong and capable. That is the ideal
for which we are told to strive by society and by our elders.
But I don’t always feel brave, strong and capable. In fact, sometimes I feel
frail, vulnerable and deprived; and, at those times, I feel the need to be comforted.
We humans have many strengths, abilities and talents;
and we have a lot of resilience to difficulties and problems,
and an instinct to strive to overcome obstacles.
But we humans are also imperfect, frail, fragile, sensitive and vulnerable;
and we have many needs which require attention.
We humans are as susceptible to sadness as to joy.
We are as susceptible to pain as to pleasure.
Being human means we will sometimes reach the heights of exhilaration,
but it also means we will sometimes be plunged into the depths of despair.
Being human means we will overcome some obstacles and have some victories,
but it also means we will be stymied
by some circumstances and beset with some frustration.
I believe it is very important that all the difficult and sad parts of being human
are fully recognized by everyone, and openly discussed,
so that each person might be better understood, and so that each person
might be given adequate comfort and opportunity during their times of need.
The athlete is proud of his strength, the wealthy man is proud of his money,
parents show off their offspring, lovers show off their mate;
but where, I ask you, is human frailty in this scheme of things,
and when and where can we be proud of it?
Who in our society praises the struggling, frightened soul of humankind?
In which place is the imperfect human,
who is super-sensitive, insecure and faltering,
glorified and exalted?
These are difficult times for our all-too-human weaknesses
because we are ashamed of them.
We have hidden them from sight and look at them only in private.
It is implied that no one wants them,
and we are told it is unmannerly to parade them in public.
But I no longer want to be ashamed of, or embarrassed by,
my insecurities, vulnerabilities and imperfections,
for they are a legitimate part of me,
as legitimate a part as are my strengths and talents.
I love my imperfections, my weaknesses,
my frailties, self-doubt and uncertainty.
I love all the fragile and sensitive parts of me
that struggle mightily to find happiness in circumstances
that often seem, and sometimes are, unfair.
From now on, let us talk of our pain as well as our pleasure,
let us trumpet our failures as well as our victories.
Let us bare our vulnerabilities
even as we demonstrate our strengths and abilities.
Let us reveal our fears even as we undertake acts of bravery.
Next to our awards and degrees,
which we have placed on the walls of our homes and offices,
let us enshrine our confusion and self-doubt. Let us brag about our frailty.
Let us flush the weak,
vulnerable and needy parts of us out of their hiding places
and encourage them to walk about proudly even in public;
for they, too, are the flowers of our soul,
and must be included in any portrayal of what it means to be human.
Tags: Philosophical Poetry , Psychological Poetry , Human Frailty , Writing Poetry
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.