Mini-Issue Work

Its a Bit Chilly

by Marielle Anne Sambilay

I wish I could call my life prose. Conflicts occur, with rising and falling action as planned. The climax pulling out of our hearts whatever emotion the writer demands. What I would give, to read my life by a warm hearth, chewing on my nails as the unnamed protagonist faces against their foes, internal or external. Imagine my relief, sinking into the cushions when the main character vanquishes these obstacles with the grace that only a script could give, and the rest of the story is carried along the smooth waves of the concluding paragraphs. When I shut the book, its carefully crafted resolution leaves me content to forget it.

But life is poetry. One would picture poetry to be carved marble statues, elegant in form, or the brightly lit landscape void of civilization. Poetry is beauty, with their images painted in colorful metaphors and structured stanzas. It’s this facade of an artform that lures the readers into a trap of analysis. They bare their sharpened claws at poetry, ripping it apart line by line to search for some hidden meaning, the true purpose behind that collection of lines. Poetry is romanticized, put on a pedestal it never deserved, for appearing elusive. 

Because poetry is never straight to the point, you would find scholars debating in those learned halls about why that poem mentioned the color blue. Perhaps blue stands for the crashing waves of depression that overcame this poet at the time of their spouse’s death, or it represents the speaker as the embodiment of the sunset sinking into the night. Blue could be presented as the chilling cold that brushed the poet’s skin in the winter that they wrote this piece. One would never find this sort of analysis with prose: the protagonist’s eyes were blue simply because the author liked the color blue. No grand purpose, no hidden message, no legacy to leave behind in the form of incoherent hints. The story in prose comes and goes, as quickly as one could pick the book up off the shelf and return it hours later. Prose is buried in the dust because nobody would think to analyze the author’s straightforward use of the color blue.

Maybe the poet, too, just liked the color blue.

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