This too… Shall Pass

concrete road between trees

An ominous wind whistled through my cavernous heart
I wondered – could I transform its beauty into art?
Language abandoned, unshackled, alone, unable to start,
A verbal maester untongued, oh how I did smart.

New world opened, emptier than ever,
Entire planet turned on an Archimedean lever,
Jupiter, Saturn, their fleeting promise together,
Artist, dreamer, soul’s hope slumbered ever deeper.

I feared I grew day by day larger, harnessed by ties unseen
To massive, impersonal, blind dead gods pulling strings.
A dead human, buried, entombed in gilded golden sheen,
A person subtracted, eliminated, abstracted to a mean.

At day’s end, does it matter who I am, however unruly?
Except to you and I, and the Earth we treat so cruelly?
Ours is the world story, its restraints, its bullying glory,
In it we bathe, dimensions tied and fastened to its folly.

Man’s mind is shifting wind, stormblown leaf, night’s fiery firefly.
Who am I? I never know, much as I declaim, much as I decry,
Shifting sands stirred by my very question, they float and fly,
Never can I be still, calm, stagnant like a blue-skeined sky.

So we take heart, because life visits all in measure,
Its madness, all-encompassing size defying seizure,
Even by those driven, they stand up and seize her,
Even by those damned – to the destiny of Caesar.

In the deep darkness, echoing silence of midnight
Where honor is a corpse, long fallen every knight,
Whatever circumstance, however terrible its class,
Remember, dear reader: this too… it shall pass.

Author’s Notes

  • Several sections are inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry. Notable are the physical descriptions in stanza #4, although I admit Mr. Frost’s far surpass mine in depth, detail, and beauty.
  • I wrote this poem across two seasons: fall and winter.
    I originally wished to write a poem that started out pessimistic but developed a lighter tone as it progressed. While I did complete the poem in winter, my mental state at the time was such that my creation felt absolutely worthless, and all my editing attempts failed.
    I nearly gave up on it multiple times but decided to take my own advice: “remember, dear reader: this too… it shall pass”.
  • I began this poem in October 2021. My life has changed in leaps and bounds since: symbolic birth and death were constant companions. Looking back at this poem, I feel more connected to my past self: regardless of the vicissitudes, I am still me.
    Whatever that means.
  • “This too shall pass” is a phrase that will uplift you in bad times and depress you in good times. It is an exhortation to humility, to hope, to the fact that the present is ever evolving. However good or bad things are: this too shall pass.