23 Poems Before I Turn 23 Challenge: A Song from the Suds

Poem number 4

A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is among the queens of queens and I dote on her. She is one of the authors who have permanently been on my reading list and I do hope I can someday strike her name off that never ending Neverland of a parchment. I have grown up watching the Little Women anime and the 1949 adaptation has been a favourite. Although I must admit that I’ve quite forgotten the specifics of the tale since I last saw the movie 6 years ago or so. This challenge has reminded me of my teen love and I will surely fall back into its arms as soon as I get the opportunity to sweep away the mundane dust of life (which is pretty much the theme of my next poem).

The Poem:

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart’s-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
“Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!”

My Thoughts:

I adore the simplicity of the poem. The words mean what they appear to mean, yet Louisa’s art of writing is pretty evident in the crafting of her sentences: they are short, crisp and lyrical. Her sense of humour is unparalleled and philosophical, if I might call it that. Her thoughtfulness is evident, but it is the clarity of her thoughts and words that I love the most, for clarity is something I strive to achieve in my writing. I have a muddled mind and I am a frazzled human being. And anybody who is not so inspires me and captivates me and enchants me.I am enthralled by this poem.

This is going to be one of the poems I will read to my kids someday, for it is beautiful and funny. Louisa compares a washcloth, out of all the things in the word, to life! And anybody who can pick up such a mundane and common thing and find beauty and grandeur in it is gifted according to me. She reiterates my philosophy of life: make yourself so busy that you have no time to think about the dullness and trauma surrounding life. This is something I’ve been doing ever since I took a lone trip this summer to satiate my wanderlust and realized that I’ve been fooling myself into believing that I’m not a loner. I realized during my sojourn just how beautiful life is when you do not have to depend on anybody else, but march to the beat of your own heart. Relationships are treacherous; they fool you into believing that you cannot survive on your own, when in fact being your own wolf pack is spectacular (and addictive). I’ve become so involved in myself that I barely have the time to think about unnecessary complications (but I still do drown in my misery sometimes, for I too am human).

I guess Louisa has found the answer to Alaska’s question, “How do you escape the labyrinth of suffering?” Dwell on thoughts, be angry and sad and broken, but do not stay idle. Work towards something. Work for something. Goals are one of the things that breathe sensibility into human existence. And all I do to stay sane is keep my eyes on the prize, when every inch of my body wants to stand and stare.

4 down, 19 poems and 24 days to go!

© That Girl in the Fray, 2015. All rights reserved. 

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I’m Still Here

Recently I’ve been too blocked to pen down the rumples in my mind and make sense of my brain. Too much has happened to me this summer and I mentally kick myself every time I think about all of it for not journaling on a daily basis, because those moments of gold and grey are beginning to fade away already. Even if I start collecting those frames of memory now, I know it wouldn’t be in its true authenticity and essence.

I’ve had my life altered in one too many ways, which is an oxymoron because I still do the same things I did before the metamorphosis. The only difference is that now I’m mentally aware of how ridiculous I’m being or how utterly unchangeable I am. So what is the underlining moral of this insane summer I’ve had? Like my thoughts about almost everything in my life, I don’t know. Yet. I think I’m going to use this blog as my saving grace to unknot my frazzled mind.

So what’s the point of this utterly cryptic blog post? I don’t know that either. Maybe it’s just my way of rippling the water around my afloat body in the lake to say I’m not dead yet. That Girl in the Fray is still here.

The Mirrored Avowal

The lull before the night of the storm shatters her deep slumber

A sharp intake of breath, awoken, she steps on her broken rose coloured glasses in a lumber

She runs through the empty halls, her feet leaving behind crimson dreams on the floor

She stops in front of the gold gilded mirror, breathless, lost to the core

A sarcastic laugh leaves her lips as she notices the crinkles near her eyes

For she knows her soul is but a barrel of unfermented wine

Standing there, she is wide awake now to the numbness flowing through her veins

A heart blind to roses, but not to the thorns and the pain

The darkness, the confusion, the entrapment in a dungeon sans the light

Her bare legs buckle on the cold floor, she is damaged beyond her might

Frustrated, she punches the mirror hard

Blinded by tears, with a crimson palm she lifts a shard

Cuts off her hair piece by piece, the silky locks wither and float down

She has lost the sanctuary she knew, her safe haven is tattered like her white gown

She stands up and walks, for now ends her life in pastel

In the moonlight, she steps barefoot into the world outside her castle.

The piercing cold, her new comrade, she embraces.

The Mirrored Avowal

The Mirrored Avowal