The Story Of A Poem (Narrative Poem) Poem by Peter Stavropoulos

The Story Of A Poem (Narrative Poem)

Prepared to ridicule himself, this fool
Is guarded against the jibes
Of those he thinks less inclined to self-criticism.
How then is he to gauge his faults
And turn them into something worthwhile?

How can he define his foolishness
If uncertain as to the extent of his limitations?
How can he begin to accept the advice of others -
'Go jump! ' 'Take a good hard look at yourself! ' 'Grow up! ' -
If he isn't prepared to be objective?

Unprepared to accept objectivity as objective
'I know what I know', he spouts
Ill-mannered, inconsiderate and obstinate.
How is he to assume the more demanding role
Of the one being spoken to?

No words, it seems,
Can convince him of his stupidity.
No words, that is,
Except his own.
Um.... ah.... um.... a poem takes form.

Ironically, loneliness is his theme
Nothing else can say what he wants to say.
Happiest is he, when miserable
Exposing his misery for all the world to see.
No one, it seems, is quite as miserable as he.

He takes care not to say too much
In case,
To make his point
He admits (in the mode of a tragic figure)
That there is nothing to say.

Logically, 'there is nothing to say' explains
His actions
Although failing to describe
What bothers him.
It seems that that can only be other people.

In them, real feelings express themselves
And a challenge presents itself for him to understand them
No matter
It is they not understanding him
That concerns me.

As querulous as it may sound
It is their obsession with 'reality'
That he objects to.
No amount of persuasion can convince them
That his feelings are real.

'Such as absurd notion demands an explanation'
He hears them say, but he is only prepared
To go on dreaming -
Observing others observing him
Observing them.

His sincerity
Isn't expressed in conventional terms.
Unbeknownst to them, he cares
And unknowingly they add to his suffering
As they refuse to acknowledge his feelings.

His suffering -
A product of a trivial pursuit
For universal meanings -
Is compounded by those who think him


Lacking in those human qualities
He most desires
He turns to someone, who,
Without her knowing,
Possesses them for him.

Kindly, she admits him -
Herself lacking the assurance
To comprehend the extent of his need.
She feels for him
As one would a child, an innocent, a poet.

His feelings exist in her eyes,
And his failings form
His 'uniqueness' -
A reason
For loving him.

Sufficent reason, in itself,
For him to love her.
Nevertheless he feels
An even greater need
To justify his feelings.

Their differences,
His reliance on her
And, equally,
Hers on him
Need explaining.

As others see it
Their differences contain the germs of disunity,
And in their interdependence, signs of submission.
Again they see things in 'real terms'
Neglecting to take into account the power of the imagination.

She isn't what she appears to be
Her beauty transcends experience
With all pain absorbed in her -
He shares in her happiness
And is privy to her sensitivity.

She instills in him a new faith,
Another reason to write -
A belief in humanity.
This is what he must explain
To those who think him foolish.

But he remains aloof
Barred by a certain quirk in his character -
Whenever he tries to be serious
He gives the impression
Of being insincere.

When he tries to explain his feelings
It's as if he is the one
Who needs to be convinced -
His new found faith seems void
Without someone else to believe it.

Yet people want to listen
And give him the chance he's been looking for -
The chance to prove himself to them.
They're not heartless,
And would rather not judge anyone unfairly.

The truth is, however,
That he is such a fool
That he needs to hear his own words
From someone else's mouth
Before he can believe them.

Friday, October 12, 2007
Topic(s) of this poem: poetry
My book of selected poems "My Voice is Silent to My Fears" is now available as a Kindle e-book.
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