I decided that whenever I post a poem here on my blog that I’ll write a follow-up post the next day. This’ll be so I can talk a bit about the poem itself, why I wrote it, inspiration, and all that. I don’t think I’ll post poems all that often (most of the stuff I’ve been writing is garbage, or I’m not really comfortable sharing it), maybe once or twice a month depending on how well writing has been going.
So, this is about Purity.
Purity is one of the first poems I wrote this year. It came to me after my second Poetry writing class, sometime in the first couple days I started practising poetry for the upcoming assignment, as I had no idea what I was doing. Poetry was never really my thing, see. Usually, poems take me multiple sittings to sort out– I write a bunch of lines, I think it’s garbage, then I come back and sort through it to find the relevant stuff, putting the rest aside for later.However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect.
However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect. Well, I mean, the poem is far from perfect, but it’s served its purpose, and I don’t desire to edit it further or alter it in any way. It captures exactly what I want it to, as I needed it when I wrote it, and as I need it now. When I wrote it, of course, I made a couple alterations, but that was just switching a couple words around here and there to make it sound better or to get the meaning right.
Overall, the writing process for this one was simple because of all that. So maybe if I ever post one of the harder poems I write some day here on my blog, I’ll talk a bit more about the detailed process of how I write them.
The meaning behind this poem and the inspiration for it go hand in hand. While I had no visual inspiration (such as a picture or what-have-you), I used a couple events that occurred around that time to build the story behind it. Actually, you could say that I wrote the poem to help cope with and better understand what was going on.Essentially, the poem is
Essentially, the poem is about a dear friend of mine, someone who has gone through a lot of shit and has a lot of shit in their future just because of how their life is set up. It’s an unfortunate situation overall. But because of how much I care about this person, I wanted to be there to help them through it all, to steer them away from the path of destruction they’d set themselves on, and in general just protect them from the demons of the world. Unfortunately, people usually only accept help when they’re ready, and my friend wasn’t ready, so they felt like I was imposing on them. I was devastated when our friendship fell apart. In the end, I think it was mostly my fault, but I’ve accepted that, and have a better idea of what to do to prevent this from happening again in the future.
I struggled a lot with whether or not I should give up on this friend, or stick around and be supportive in the background so I could be there if they ever needed me, even if it proved to be an emotional burden. It came down to whether or not I was able to stop caring, which I so far haven’t been able or even wanted to. I’m also too afraid that if I step away completely, I won’t be there if something bad happens. And even if it’s paranoid to think like that, nothing so devastatingly wrong has happened that this friendship can’t be repaired somehow if I just stick around.
So Purity ended up being my acceptance of the situation. The first half is my acknowledgement of the good, and the bad in my friend (lines 1-4), while the last half of the poem (lines 5-8) is about my decision to be there for them, even if it ultimately means that we can’t be friends anymore. There’s obviously more to it than that, but this is the simplest explanation of how the poem came to be and my interpretation of it. Everyone, of course, is welcome to interpret it as they like. In fact, if anyone has a different interpretation, I’d love to hear it!
Here’s the poem again, for reference:
Within you rests a sanctuary,
not for the broken or the free
but for the demons you harbour
in your heart.
Silence would kill most
and when I want to think
I’m one of them
I decide to ride it out together
even if our ends are far apart.