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Self Look


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Self Look




Every being, be it a leaf or a beetle, a squirrel or blue jay,


does what it must, determined by DNA and its environment.


Humans are included, doing what they must at any time.




Believe what you must, you will act as you must, unique


and seemingly of your special free will. I suppose, either


way, it does not matter in the least as long as we believe.




Everything I do or think I believe to be only that, things


I cannot change. Nor can I correct those things I regret.


They exist and cannot be erased or forgotten, nor forgiven.




I speak harsh words that cannot be recalled or erased


from the memory of those I insulted. I cannot alter


the truth of happenings, nor even my thoughts at the time.




I love and hate, become an ogre at times and what I think


is a loveable old coot at others. I go about my life with


the best of intentions which often angers those I love.




The past cannot be changed, only dealt with, in understanding


or continuing hate that poisons the soul, the inner being.


I think I think too much.

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

excellent poem paco. the last line is so cliche but so true at the same time. the second to last stanza hit a home run with me. i agree completely with that verse.I


go about my life with


the best of intentions which often angers those I love.



the line above is my father exactly. keep writing for this is an awesome poem franklin.




Larsen M. Callirhoe

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David W. Parsley

Hi Franklin, this poem continues a trend in your recent work to be explicitly philosophic, addressing general topics in generalities, rather than in the context of experience (as in "Purple Heart" and "Portage".) Which is not necessarily bad, it is just different.


At first reading, this one almost seems like the concatenation of two separate pieces: the first, an interestingly phrased treatise on the nature of choice in the natural universe and within humanity; the second, a piece about the narrator's regrets and a kind of reconciliation to his own faults, acknowledging the burden demanded of those close to him. Re-reading brings the two distinct halves together, creating the impression that the persona behind the narration is seeking excuse for behaviors he feels unable to change, a way to deal with guilt of past actions - it's environment and DNA, give me a break.


I could not tell how much of this is Swiftian irony placed in the mouth of the narrator, how much sincere. After all any line of reasoning taken to extreme can be exposed for its fallacies and traps. I am still making up my mind, but I think I like it, leaving it to the reader to decide where the line is being crossed from real feeling to satire.


I can't help commenting on the determinism versus choice thing. It reflects a recurring theme in constant conflict down the millenia with other philosophical concepts, with roots in atomism continuing on through positivistic certainties of the early twentieth century (and persisting to this day). I like the way you leave some room for doubt as to its validity while still developing the notion in the poem's flow. It will be interesting to see what other work might be stimulated to address fuzziness and fundamental uncertainties in the realm of logic such as those found in the work of Goedel and Russell, the physical world as exhibited in Heisenberg uncertainty and Brownian motion, biology with the concept of random (and/or directed?) mutation, not to mention spirituality and mysticism.


Hm, guess I did one of my discursive digression things all over your poem. Apologies, but to quote an esteemed colleague, chalk it up to me "making it my own." :ph34r:


- Dave

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No apologies, Dave. Consider it a present. I hope you open it often.


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Larsen M. Callirhoe

I didn't want to delve deeper into your pysche, Franklin. Now that Dave has, I will make a quick few observations. You generalize yourself as being stuck between dual worlds. One is the past which you seem to agonize over a hidden barrier somewhere; the second, you live in a reality not of guilt, but you are very remorseful of an unseen choice. This is the reflection I see deep within yourself abiding tme as you call yourself, "a (one) crazy old koot." I usually don't look back on other works of a poet unless they reference it in someway (one of their older posted works.). Dave brough up some interesting perspectives. I remember only one of the two poems, he mentioned. I love the poetry of everyone here equally, so keep writing my poet friend Franklin,



Larsen M. Callirhoe

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think this life is a boarding school, and we're all here to learn (hopefully) what we each individually need to learn before it's time to move on. (That is, those of us who want to learn and haven't made a conscious choice not to.) I think this poem is a stepping stone on the poet's own personal journey as he tries to make sense of, to learn, whatever it is that he needs to learn.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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