This morning I almost didn’t go to English class. I wanted to go back to my room and sleep—it’s dreary out and I wasn’t in the mood to sit and listen. But a student here once said, “If you don’t go to a class, it’s like tearing up a $100 bill in your professors face.”
I know he’s right, so I went. In a completely unexpected way, it turned out to be one of the most productive class periods I’ve had so far.
My professor, while speaking of Ulysses, said, “You must read this book before you die,” and those words alone gave me a bad case of word vomit. I wrote a single idea in my 3x5 notebook that became a flood of thought, and before I knew it I had written an entire poem and hadn’t heard a word the professor said.
Writing and not being able to stop creates an adrenaline similar to being in a dangerous situation. It’s incredibly hard to explain, but it’s almost as if time has no meaning. Once my pen met the surface of the paper nothing else existed.
Asking the Question: Why?
Why eat to live?
Why dream to fly?
Why count the hours as time flies by?
Why smell a rose on a summer day,
Why take a chance and walk astray?
Why read a book for pure enjoyment,
Why find yourself in the moment?
Why dream, or wish, or seek to find
When death awaits down the line?
For life will turn, and run along
And those of us, who think we’re strong,
The body does not realize
What it truly means to die
(For asked in any given moment to prepare
one will refuse to despair
or accept the given outcome.)
So I, with wings fastened to me,
heading toward the end
will live—as I intend.
Teacher, you may say,
“Read this book before you die.”
But I say,
“I’d rather not.
It seems I’ll set that book aside.
If I want to live,
before I die.
I guess the poem ended up being an unspoken “No Thank You” to my teachers assertion that we should all read Ulysses before death grabs a hold of us.
I’d rather find other things to do instead.