When you were young | spoken word

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Once upon a time

we were young.

We were wild things belonging to nature.

We were curious creatures,

creatures of light-

Dreamers and weavers.

Do-ers,

believers.

When we were young

we were told that the world is at our finger tips

Instead of the truth

which is that worlds lay within them.

That, in our blood, instead of cells

swim stars

belonging to the many galaxies alive in our skin.

That, like the universe,

we are still growing

creating,

expanding,

flowing-

But we’re told to have more

rather than to be more-

Or at least be us

Instead of making ourselves bleed more.

When we were young

we were inventors

who believed in wishes, shooting stars and adventures

We were not yet deprived of the light that shows us who we really are to each other:

Sister, brother

One bound to the other.

We were not yet polluted,

our minds not yet molded.

We were not yet transformed

or shamed

or scolded.

When we were young we didn’t question our own beauty,

we saw it in ourselves and in others-

untouched by human cruelty,

our thoughts were free to form and release

with conviction and ease-

our bodies were our own,

not touched and changed to please.

From children to grown-ups

like sinners trying to own up

to the lies and the faults of ancestors passed

instead of choosing our own stories

and forging our own paths.

We are told, over and over

who to be,

who to love

how to think-

as we grow older

we disconnect from one another

eyes outward instead of inward

chanting “we are free!”

while unknowingly being shackled and bound

unable to flee or

even just be.

So please tell me

how my dreams have turned to dust

and my love to rust.

How has my soul turned so cold?

And how did I come to hate my body as I grew old?

How can I go back to the way I once was

without spilling stars like blood

from hating this self and everything she does.

Stop.

Breathe.

Un-cage and undo me

all that has been done.

Unravel and reveal this self

brighter than the sun.

Wake my sleeping bones

and set this soul on fire.

Feel my heart beat slow and fast

with steadfast desire

for all this earth-side life has to teach and to tell

to my aching spirit

to my wanting flesh

that wraps me up so well-

So I call on you

to take my hand,

and his

and hers,

carry who you can!

Build your castles up

and leave no song unsung.

Live the life you always imagined

when you were young.

Percy Shelley and the Mind in Creation (Critique)

Percy Shelley’s “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” is a poem which reflects impeccably on the swift comings and goings of beauteous thoughts and pure states of consciousness. It describes the happening almost as a phantom, appearing suddenly and planting immediate inspiration within whomever it appears to before disappearing just as promptly and unexpectedly as it arrived. So quick, in fact, that it is impossible to fully grasp, and as a result you are only left with a shadow version of the state of being that you first experienced in its purest form. It is a phenomenon difficult to grasp, yet an occurrence one never forgets. The poem also holds strong themes of nostalgia and longing throughout. Shelley’s descriptions of mindful and intellectual beauty are both poetically beautiful and arguably accurate while the vocabulary in the poem fails to relate or connect fully to his description of ‘The mind in creation‘ (Part of his piece: “A defence of poetry“).

In his work titled “A defense of Poetry“, Percy refers to a phenomenon he called “The Mind in Creation”. He begins by describing the sensation as something self-forged and fleeting yet divine with lasting authority over the mind: “For the mind in creation is a fading coal with some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness, this power rises from within” This description tells of a fading state of beauty that comes from your own pure state of consciousness and the power it harnesses to behold such fleeting light. This idea is divergent to Percy’s poem titled “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” when he writes: “The awful shadow of some unseen Power/ Floats though unseen amongst us-visiting/ This various world with as inconstant wing/ As summer winds that creep flower to flower.” Here Percy describes an unseen source of energy, a traveller, which brings brightness and inspiration to those it visits. There is a clear conflict between the two concepts, whereas the first described the ability to achieve a state of purity and beauty from within, the second described an external force as the culprit phantom of light…though both are written as inconsistent and ephemeral.

In the following verses of “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, Percy finds parallels with his description of The Mind in Creation when he reports on the erratic behavior and invisibility of this state of beauty: “With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon/ Of human thought or form,-where art thou gone?/ Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,” Though Percy puts it to much simpler terms in The Mind in Creation by using the term: “fading coal” to describe the fleeting state. There is melancholy and nostalgia in his vocabulary, suggesting sadness in the phenomenon’s truth: whether you’re ready or not, inspiration or new forming thoughts and state of mind can appear and vanish without warning. A sadness lies in this, and Percy demonstrates it well within his language.

Though Shelley’s grasp on intellectual beauty and the mind in creation hold contradictory concepts, he nevertheless succeeds to enthrall with his language and literal flow. His views on ethereal thinking and forming inspirations are both engaging and thought-provoking.

w e l c o m e

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

-William Wordsworth

Welcome to my creative space where I will share my very heart and soul with the words spilled here. My aim is to connect and captivate and possibly transform the very world around you with the truth.

Stay kind and stay wild.