30 September 2014

The Greatest Paradox


     (a sonnet with two endings)


The Greatest Paradox is leaving Light
to learn what it is in Our Tradition.
Yet I beg you, Wild Child, to practice names
and rituals—to let me tame-train you—
to row you to the mouth of the river
farthest downstream from unfettered childhood.

Chew our language, jump through our hoops, take our
tests designed to calibrate correctness, 
say the right name and gender of God and
recite its history and name its parts
Voila!  You are one of us.  We believe.
We saved you; God loves you; all is happy.

And then, Wild Child, you too can bind people
to tradition and live on ocean’s shore.

And then, Wild Child, you can return upstream
to the sourcehaving learned to value Light.



Posted in Poets United 

Poetry Pantry #221



Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast


27 comments:

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful, scary, sad.

Claudia said...

isn't it sad when we lose that wildness only to get stuck in rituals and traditions - and worse - force them on others as well...ugh...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Okay, I definitely prefer the second ending!! Love the Wild Child.....interesting that this poem starts off with us leaving Light, to return to it at the end, full circle. Intriguing poem, Susan.

Vandana Sharma said...

within our selves we all have an inner wild child who just wants to roam like a wanderer!!

Mary said...

All of us, I think, must learn to value both rituals and light

Susan said...

Wisdom!

Gabriella said...

I believe we need rituals but rituals only have values when they are meaningful. As I see it, their role is not to enslave and bind people but help them find the divine.

Truedessa said...

This has me a bit torn between ritual and feeling the light...you can go through the motions but, they mean nothing if you are not feeling them in your heart..just my opinion..a poem that makes me pause..

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

i cannot avoid the rituals of life imposed, imparted upon us as humans but i hope like... a flower sleeping at the end of its season, it leaves a little room to start again (caption from one of my poems).

we must all look into the light and hope that we can assimilate into it and then share a little light with those we've touched.

gracias

Björn Rudberg said...

I think only by keeping the wildness at heart we can travel and meet the blessings of light.

Nataša Dolenc said...

hmm.. this was a great read!

Sumana Roy said...

sad, very sad if the Wild Child is fettered with rituals and has to leave Light...but then all traditions are not about shackles and chains...whatever path one takes Light has to be there...thought provoking Susan...great lines..

Steve King said...

It's essential to retain an element of that natural wildness. It gives depth and meaning to Rituals and to the shadows cast by Light. This is a complex poem that has me reading it a couple of times. I know I'll be back. Nice job.
Steve K.

Grace said...

To leave the light and know it and follow it again is the decision ~ If the wild child accepts it and nurtures it and shares it with others too, then good for the community ~ Much to think about this one Susan ~

TALON said...

This was so neat, Susan. The Wild Child conforming to society...and how sad that makes me feel even imagining such a thing.

R.K. Garon said...

I smile reading this in peace. Perhaps, because of age :-)
ZQ

Moonie said...

Hmm Susan you weave an intricate tapestry of words with light and ritual your main colors and the wild child the weaver. In the end the tapestry has a singular design made by you!!!

humbird said...

Yes, 2 tendencies - separation and union in traditions and language, but light allows the knowing of it. ~ Nice.

Stacy Lynn Mar said...

i thought this was an amazing analysis. growth compared to nature.

stacy lynn mar
http://warningthestars.blogspot.com/2014/10/saturday-prompt-2-starry-skies-and.html

Brian Miller said...

this is our nationalist expansion plan...we did it to the first nation...we did it in the islands we took...imperialism...that is the name i was looking for..we move in...americanize them...steal
their land...take their culture...

oldegg said...

Correctness; how apt at times yet at others inappropriate. There is so much sadness with rules and yet so much hate in fighting them.

Myrna R. said...

Well I def like the second ending best. It's good to learn from traditions and rituals, but those must be left to return to the source - and then the journey is inward, upstream, swimming alone.
Lovely write Susan.

Susan said...

Yes, this poem can be seen as a metaphor for colonialism. What we want for ourselves is a clue about what equality could be. I didn't realize this until the third revision.

Susan said...

It needs a third ending.

Abin Chakraborty said...

enjoyed the experiments and the quest for a life anchored in traditional wisdom

manicddaily said...

It is such an interesting sort of cycle. I do think there is some merit in taming--maybe discipline and application are better words--but not so much when it comes to self-valuing. A very poignant poem. k.

G L Meisner said...

Feels quite a bit like social commentary. Well written.