Don’t tell me I appreciate poetry!

How often have we listened to a song and felt moved by it? How often has it happened that a particular line of a song has been stuck in your memory and you have wondered how much it relates to your situation in life?

One song stuck in my head is “Up Where We Belong”.

As someone who is trying to create a new life, facing hurdles, experiencing anxiety about her future, the lines from this song resonate with me. Indeed, “All I know is the way I feel”, anxious, unsure but with a little hope. And, “I’m gonna keep” my hope alive.

I am a beginner. I know “the road is long”.

I can see “there are mountains” in my way, but I, want to hold on to the little hope, the little faith I have in me, and “climb still higher every day”.

I take a tiny step each day and pray to God, to stand by me, to have my back, and help me get there, “Where the eagles fly….On a mountain high”, to my vision of life, “Far from the world” I know, where I am free.

The lyrics of this song could have a completely different meaning for you.

Lyrics
You alone know what tomorrow brings
In a world where few hearts survive

All I know is the way I feel
And if its real I’m gonna keep it alive
Cause the road (the road)
Said the road is long, there are mountains in our way
But yet we’ll climb still higher every day

Lord lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles fly
On a mountain high
Lord lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow.

It could be about love, it could be about a higher source or it could be about your personal struggles. It could mean simply nothing to you. That too is fine. Nevertheless, I am sure, there is a song that you love, that you like to hum and you do it because there is something about the lyrics ( the melody too) that appeals to you. That something could be something emotional, powerful, fun or entertaining. 

But just look at the lyrics of the song above. If you did not know or if I did not tell you that this was a song, wouldn’t you look at it and say it was poetry? It shows all the symptoms of being a poetry! It doesn’t have complete sentences, the writer talks about vague roads, God knows what mountains, weird eagles in the sky, right? On top of it, it has those obscure things like rhyme, way-day, know-blow. 

But you still enjoyed it? If not this song, you do enjoy the one you hum. 

Now you will say, “Oooooh! That is because of the melody”. 

I agree, the melody is responsible for making a song likeable but the lyrics/words are the component that create meaning for us. 

You see, all of us love poetry, one kind or the other. It is just because someone told us that you need a lot of skill to study poetry that we started running away from it. Or perhaps, we performed poorly in an exam, where we had to interpret poetry under time pressure!

Take your time, spend as much time as you want on a single poem. Read it as many times as you like. You do not have to finish reading ‘x’ number of poems in this lifetime. It is enough to have experienced one that is close to your heart.

I found one that I loved and now I keep looking for more. Trust me you will do the same. Go on look for a poem you like or go back and read one you liked back in school.

Before I go, few lines from a poem that I like:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

Have a nice day!

In obeisance to the divine in you,
Trishna

Works Cited
-Tagore, Rabindranath. “Gitanjali 35”. Poetry Foundation, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45668/gitanjali-35. Accessed 15 May 2021.
-“Up Where We Belong Lyrics.” Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/14410739/Joe+Cocker&gt;.


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