I decided I’d do something different today! So, this is my favorite poem. It’s written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who is most known for writing the poem, “Solitude.” It’s a really neat poem, and I even performed it last year in my theatre class. I decided to recite it instead of perform it because I am currently still in my pajamas (wooh, snow days!), and I don’t have super nice quality video cameras and such. So, I hope you enjoy my recitation, even though I don’t have any pictures or exciting visuals to go with it.
I also wanted to reflect on the meaning of the poem. On the surface, we can obviously see it drawing a contrast between wine and water in this imaginary conversation they have. Wine is the more stereotypical “powerful” player in this game, but water is shown to have its own quiet strength. Wine lovers, do not fear! There is nothing inherently wrong with wine; problems only occur when people misuse it. As I said, it really comes down to the way we view strength. Wine exerts its strength by hurting people and forcing them to do things they might not normally do. But water has a different kind of strength: the kind that helps instead of hurts; the kind that gives instead of takes. Water says, “I set the wine-chained captive free, and all are better for knowing me.” Water proves itself to be stronger than wine in this scenario because its helping hand completely nullifies the strength of wine.
And I liked that, because in society, we like to glorify physical strength, even to the point where it hurts everything around it. We glorify this idea of conquest–of people, of money, of “fame, strength, wealth, genius.” But that’s not where real strength lies.
Just a thought,
p.s. You don’t need a cool glass of lemonade today; it’s fine if you curl up on the couch with hot chocolate. 🙂
p.p.s. If you want a transcript of the poem, here ’tis (even thought it’s missing a line, dunno why…):