I wrote this my senior year of high school for the end of the year poetry workshop we did in AP English Literature and Comp or Langugage and Comp, I honestly don’t remember anything besides the fact that it was one of my favorite classes in all four years there.
English was the only class I would actually push myself in (imagine that, now I have a blog and write things for anyone who will take the time to read them). It was the only class where I would accept nothing less than an A (however, I would accept nothing less than a B anywhere else), and I was successful in that goal.
There is something about language that I really enjoy. Diction and style are so…variable. We can manipulate them so well, we can say the exact same things and elicit entirely different reactions simply in how we choose our wording and how we register our vocal tone to say it. It’s fascinating.
It’s the psychology of language, the effects of nonverbal communication, the impact of verbal communication. When I say I was a communication studies major…this is what I studied. Sure, I took public relations and I learned about mass communication, but I always looked at it through the lens of interpersonal, nonverbal, and intercultural communication. You can say whatever you want…if you know how to say it.
Yes, there is sticking to your message and all the information you need to know regarding that but…knowing your audience. I mean really knowing your audience makes a huge difference. Think denotation and connotation. It matters. But I’ll stop boring you.
The point of all of this is that, depending on who you are and what you know, you will derive an entirely different meaning from this poem than the person sitting next to you. Or maybe you’re alone like I am right now, so an entirely different meaning that the other person across the world reading it. This concept was a driving force of the AP English class I took senior year of high school. Translation is subjective.
So here is this 5 year old poem, which I don’t believe I ever named…tell me what you think of it after you read it if you would like.
That red hot Sun turned gold
And to distract myself with the cracked black asphalt
I count the flaws in my surroundings
Knowing all the while that
That golden disc up in the topaz sky
Is just a little too high and a little too bright
Taunting these sheep with shimmery things
Worn youth and decayed expectations follow into that ivory light
Hoping that the gold dust is something more
More hopes and dreams than could be accounted for
Biting on to that orange faith dangling from biblical hands
And the burning asphalt cries beneath my feet “Give me the sun, give me the warmth.
Don’t come between it, don’t obstruct me from it”
But all too soon that golden Sun can fade.
All too soon that golden sun will turn blue
And star chasers and star gazers will move to the next star
While they wait for a new sun to be born.
And that fog of dazzlement always seems a little too thick until you’re in the thick of it.
And that fog can’t be broken by any amount of golden rays.
So go, all you star hunters, all you hungry dreamers.
Chase the sun into tomorrow.