We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Beauty of This Poem Moves Me Still

I will never forget the gift Mrs. Ransic gave to me as a gangly teenager.  She was my 9th grade English teacher at Mayfair High School, Bellflower, California.  She introduced us to the beauty of Emily Dickinson though other poets were also in our text book; Dickerson moved me.  At the time, I was so very unhappy in my home life. 

Mrs. Ransic assigned the class a poem of our choosing, the poem had to be 20 lines long and we had to recite the entire poem before our classmates for our final grade.  I chose

Because That You Are Going.

Because that you are going

And never coming back

And I, however absolute,

May overlook your Track --

Because that Death is final,

However first it be,

This instant be suspended

Above Mortality --

Significance that each has lived

The other to detect

Discovery not God himself

Could now annihilate

Eternity, Presumption

The instant I perceive

That you, who were Existence

Yourself forgot to live --

The "Life that is" will then have been

A thing I never knew --

As Paradise fictitious

Until the Realm of you --

The "Life that is to be," to me,

A Residence too plain

Unless in my Redeemer's Face

I recognize your own --

Of Immortality who doubts

He may exchange with me

Curtailed by your obscuring Face

Of everything but He --

Of Heaven and Hell I also yield

The Right to reprehend

To whoso would commute this Face

For his less priceless Friend.

If "God is Love" as he admits

We think that me must be

Because he is a "jealous God"

He tells us certainly

If "All is possible with" him

As he besides concedes

He will refund us finally

Our confiscated Gods --

Yes, dear readers I memorized this entire poem.  I stood up before a class of 20+ and this poem flowed from my lips without breaking a sweat or dropping a line.  This poem was the crux of what I was feeling about my beliefs in: faith, love, family and the after life.

Reading this poem again three decades later, I still fell the anguish I did then.  Hating my station in life and questioning why I was not good enough to love.  I still feel the sting of thinking my father did not want my sister or me because that was what we were lead to believe.  Was I suicidal during my teen years -- maybe?  I know (remember) vaguely play acting in my head great scenes of my mother finding out I had died.
Kinda creepy and liberating at the same time,
Because I am still that theatrical teenaged girl
If only in my head.


Sharon said...

A lovely poem.

How did we survive those awkward, awful teenage years?

Judy's Corner said...

I like that, Mal. Yeah, I think those teenage feelings are so common, regardless of our home lives... just something about that age of crazy hormones and lack of control of your own life, and the strong conviction that nobody understands us.... Not in any way trying to minimalism what you went through... just acknowledging that most of us went through similar situations, whether valid or simply perceived through the eyes of teenagers. Lovely post!

mixednut555 said...

Mal, I went through many of those feelings too, but not because I thought I was unloved, more because of stupid choices I had made in my life...and I was just a kid, not even 16 when I had already done things that would change the rest of my life!
Thank you for sharing that poem, I am feeling so much of it today and the past few days.

Melodie said...

I have never been able to quiet understand poetry..I guess I am different in that part of my brain...I can remember almost every child nursery rhyme...and that is strange..oh well.Check your e mail!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

thats lovely

you big puddin

polly's path said...

so poignant. Of course you remember it.
I had a similar experience with a teacher who gave me a copy of Annabelle Lee by Poe. Did I spell this right?!