Skip to main content

Poetry Friday -Live Stupid, Die Dumb


Sometimes a poet feels the need to raise a voice, make a statement, or a stand. Sometimes the events of the world prompt and provoke a response.

In 2016, the world has experienced a lot of social and political uncertainty. Think about the US election of Donald Trump as President, the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom, the growth of fake news stories and the emboldened stance of xenophobes and racists in many countries. 

It is with such matters in mind that I am writing today. In a world where shallow news reporting is increasingly relied upon, it is important to be an educated consumer of information. Social media displays both positive and negative attributes.We must afford it due diligence, use it wisely.  We must be willing to learn, grow and reflect. We must learn to filter information and question sources. Blind acceptance is dangerous.

Is my poem a rant?  Am I taking a stance? You decide, dear reader. We write for different purposes. 



Live Stupid,
 Die Dumb


I hold no desire
To live stupid
To die dumb.
I choose to move in the opposite direction to those feckless folk
Who cling to ignorance ferociously.
Stupid is easy
You can get there in a flash
Just put up the vacant sign in your brain
Let weeds flourish around your thoughts
Pull up the drawbridge on fresh ideas
Just turn away.
Turn away from reading
Consider it unnecessary
Banish books from your life
Let them gather dust
Just as your mind will surely gather dust.
Never ask questions
Refuse to listen
Refuse to try
Pack up your dreams
Lock them away in a cupboard
And forget about them.
Cover your ears to new ideas
Plant yourself in the dark
Never leave.
Ignore the world out there
Never travel beyond the city limits
Never lose sight of the shore, what’s more
Embrace your shackles
Avoid raking risks
Dangerous thing, risk.
Yes, stupid is yours for the taking
Giving up is easy, so easy.
But remember.
Remember, if you can
To live stupid
To die dumb
Is a dead set choice.



Alan j Wright

Comments

  1. You said we could decide; I have and I'm with you: "I hold no desire to live stupid, to die dumb."

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Stupid is easy
    You can get there in a flash"

    - thank you so much for this.
    As an educator who specializes in high ability and gifted/talented education, my heart breaks at the celebration of mediocrity I see on a daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Myra. I do feel better for getting it of my chest and like you I find the acceptance of mediocrity disquieting.

      Delete
  3. This is a timely poem with great imagery. I particulary like these lines:
    "Let weeds flourish around your thoughts
    Pull up the drawbridge on fresh ideas
    Just turn away."
    It's frightening how much momentum turning away generates. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback Molly. Always appreciated.

      Delete
  4. Unfortunately, both sides of the political spectrum accuse the other side of ignorance. It's baffling to true to recognize truth among all the lies, the "spin", the conspiracy theories and the misinformation. The truth is just so much less interesting than conflict. I love your poem, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed a continuing challenge to unravel the spin from the truth Brenda. All the more reason to stay well read and informed. Thanks for the feedback.

      Delete
  5. I am going to have to skip commenting on this. I could start a rant. And I'm trying to be nice this month - well, maybe longer - but at least until Christmas! I've seen too much stupid lately. And it most likely isn't anything people are assuming. So that said... Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, great. I commented. That was stupid.

      Delete
    2. Donna, they say if you have a voice, you should use it. You have done just that. Merry Christmas to you too. May you be surrounded by 'nice.'

      Delete
  6. Well, you've written the poem many of us are thinking...we are still in shock that stupid was chosen this election, and now we must fight back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always gratifying to hear about noble intentions Tara.

      Delete
  7. I love losing sight of the shore! Well done Allen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May you continue to be driven by a desire to move in that direction Linda.

      Delete
  8. As a teacher librarian, may this never happen:
    "Turn away from reading
    Consider it unnecessary
    Banish books from your life
    Let them gather dust"
    Just as your mind will surely gather dust.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is an anathema to any committed book lover Jone. A life without books is not something I would wish to consider.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

List Poems Are Easy To Like

A list poem is one of the easiest kinds of poems to write because it doesn't require a set rhythm or rhyme. But that doesn't mean you should write anything down helter- skelter.

Consider the inclusion of the following elements to make a list poem a poem instead of just a list:

• The writer is telling you something--pointing something out--saying, "Look at this," or, "Think about this."
• There's a beginning and end to it, like in a story.
• In other words, the poem needs to make sense and have some kind of flow to it.

List poems provide an easy and successful structure to get children feeling more comfortable with poetry. They are to be found in the poetry of many cultures and have been employed successfully by many contemporary poets.

Poetry is full of surprises. List also need to be full of surprises. Without the occasional surprise your list poems will have all the appeal of a supermarket shopping list on a day when you don't want to go shopping!

Here …

The Challenge Of Rhyming Verse For The Inexperienced Poet

Poetry is an extremely flexible writing form. It is easily weaved into our writing programs across the year as opposed to just being pigeon holed into a specific unit of work. Poetry offers a unique response to literature -fiction or non fiction. Such is the flexible nature of poetry. 

From an early age children have much exposure to a significant amount of rhyming verse. That our classrooms are filled with poetry that is enjoyable to listen to, or fun to read is important, but it may not necessarily provide the best starting point for inexperienced poetry writers.

When used skilfully rhyme can add to the lyrical nature of poetry. When it is used out a sense of expectation, it frequently serves to detract from the poem's intention. It weakens the words overall. If you listen closely you can hear the words clunking into place. They just sound like they don't belong.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-rhyme. In fact, I have to guard against over using it. It is a natural inclina…

Image Poem

Image Poem

This poem owes its existence to Georgia Heard's idea of the six room image poem where six elements are addressed in the writing that follows:

Image
Light
Sound
Questions
Feelings
Repetition

The challenge is to expand our vision of selected images by attending to each element when writing. The idea is to spend time considering each of the six elements by thinking about them as rooms we must enter in order to think more deeply about our word choice.


The Grandfather Clock

The Grandfather clock
Stood tall like a palace guard
Marking time in Nana's lounge-room
Against the wall
Avoiding the sunlight streaming through lace curtained windows
Tick-tocking as the pendulum swung in its unerring arc
Brass and chains and moving arms 
Encased behind a long glass face
The clock announced the passing of each hour
With blare and boom
The rowdy ringing out
Chased the silence from the room
Why so loud? the small ones asked
Why so tall? the small ones wondered
They kept their distance
Time moved on relentlessl…