Do not sit down to write a poem. Take on the burden of understanding. Crave reality for the halo it bestows around the moment. Do not join the long gray line of men on their haunches. Stand up to see something. Stand up to say what you see. Do not take too much solace in reading books. Do not take too much pride in writing them. Take understanding for what it is – A temporary respite from darkness. Do not waste yourself in belief. Do not fool yourself with satisfaction. Truth is a drug to dull the mind. Truth is a serum to cure the mind. Truth is a metaphor for all that is beautiful in this world. Do not confuse them. Return again and again to darkness in search of light. Return again and again to pain in search of joy. Do not forget the wisdom of Elders, the folly of the Masters. Do not confuse the two. Do not write as if your life depends upon it. Live your life as if writing depends upon it. Live your life as if writing depends upon it. It’s Manifesto Night at the Bar…pull up a soapbox and tell us what you think.
Note to Self:
06 Thursday Mar 2014
Brian Miller said:
ha. we hit some similar themes…not getting too proud in books…or just showing up…stand up…def we dont need a bunch of people sitting around…smiles. love those lines on truth as well….
Gay Reiser Cannon said:
Such good lines here, so well crafted and so well thought. I like the thoughts on truth, the complexity, the paradoxes you sculpted here. Best of all “live your life as if your writing depends upon it” …what is clearer than that! Thank you so much for writing and linking with the article today.
I really like the progression of this poem. A lot of good advice here. I like returning to darkness in search of light. And the ending…”Live your life as if writing depended on it” is a way of looking at life that I had never thought about before & definitely a new perspective!
to go beyond the surface… and a poem can not be more than its master… it’s the wisdom we gained and the time we took to understand life that mirrors in our poetry… and that is what makes it so valuable…yes
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Ron .. where can I sign this manifesto.. This is what I tried to say in mine… only I think you did it better.. and that last line is perfect.. condense the manifesto into that single line… I love it.
Ronald E. Shields said:
Thanks Bjorn…I thought about condensing it all to the last line but didn’t want to come off as too cheeky.
Aniket More said:
Such poignant writing. I am a fan. 🙂
Glenn Buttkus said:
There was a time during my 100,000 Slave Days, when friends would note that I took summers off to have adventures that then I would write about all the rest of the year. Retired now, writing like a machine, poems by the hundreds piling up in archives and shelves, words taking wing on incredible flights to Australia, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, or three blocks away where a fellow poet resides. Your manifesto is accurate, righteous, clear.
Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said:
Poignant last line.
Bryan Ens said:
That last line…brilliant!!
This is an excellent poem, Ron! One of my favorites I believe. I like the idea that we should not be self-satisfied but strive to be heard and express the truth.
t h i n g s + f l e s h said:
Ron, your poems have both heart and intelligence. they are a joy to read. tony
Poet Laundry said:
I’m with Gabriella–one of my fav reads of this challenge. The last 7 lines (including the repeated line) had me snapping my fingers.
These are humbling words but words to live by. The repetition of the last line is very effective.
I am far too superficial to make a serious comment . I suppose it is because as an Australian we are discouraged from taking ourselves or anything too seriously…call it culturally enforced humility .
Wow, that was brilliant! The last lines were just perfect.
A manifesto that about covers all aspects in life. A thoughtful journey of discovery. Nicely Ron!
Abhra Pal said:
A great piece – I must admit.
“Truth is a drug to dull the mind.
Truth is a serum to cure the mind.
Truth is a metaphor for all that is beautiful in this world.
Do not confuse them.”
Such powerful lines you have in here Ron.
Barry Dawson said:
“Take understanding for what it is –
A temporary respite from darkness.
Do not waste yourself in belief.
Do not fool yourself with satisfaction.”
I certainly subscribe to this point of view. I think that your manifesto is the one that I hope I can embody. Thank you for sharing this brilliant work.
Yes! Yes! LOVE the closing lines. Well done, and worth signing up for!