Lindsey Merritt

The Measure Of A Man - Poem by Lindsey Merritt

Life is short.

It sounds extremely difficult to imagine, but compared to a geological timeline, our few decades here on this earth are mere seconds to the billions of years the universe has seen.

In life, we are candles, burning brightly above all the other snuffed out wicks suffocated by the suppressing hands over them.

If you start out tall then shrink down small, how is the life measured?

By the size?

By the wax running down the sides?

By how burnt the wick is?

All these questions and more are unanswerable.

The real question in the simplest form possible is:

How do you measure a man?

By how long he lived?

By the accomplishments he achieved?

By the success he attained in life?

These and others are-again-unanswerable.

To one, it could be this.

To another, that.

No wrong answers, but all-somewhat-firm opinions.

Is he measured by the green paper in his wallet?

By the size of his house?

The expense of his car?

If those are truly units by which we size up his life, they are vain and need to be altered.

If we measure by standards of values and good will, we could definitely state an official inch.

It's just the setting of the bar that becomes the difficult part.

And sticking to the engraving you've decided upon is a challenge as well.

Making a mark on the world is inevitable.

Making the impression you expect is up to you.

For an inch, maybe it could be how many people he cared for that didn't.

Maybe the kindness he showed to people that didn't return the feeling.

Maybe the immense blow he gives to a community when it is discovered
that the hands have finally managed to pinch out his glorious flame.

All of us know or have known at least one person of this sort.

Someone near and dear to our hearts who has been stolen away by those unjust hands.

In reality, maybe not the biggest or strongest, but in memory, a giant.

Now that we have measured, it is time to immortalize.

No matter how sorely missed, they can live forever in your mind's eye, looming above all others in an unforgettable way.


Forever is a very, very long time.

Far longer than the universe has seen.

Far longer than the universe will ever see.

Comments about The Measure Of A Man by Lindsey Merritt

  • Dawn Fuzan (5/15/2014 2:44:00 PM)

    Lindsey Amazing poetry here keep on writing (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Saadat Tahir (6/30/2012 7:29:00 PM)

    nice philosophical monologue
    liked it
    (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, May 26, 2012

[Report Error]