February 3, 2010

FreeVerse: "You Learn" by Veronica A. Shoffstall

I have always been a fan of poetry and for the last several weeks I have liked reading the posts around that Cara from Ooh...Books! started a few months ago. The only excuse I have for taking so long to do this is because, well, I'm lazy. Really, that's all I've got.

As I get through the first week after breaking up with John, I find solace in this poem. I thought it fitting for my first FreeVerse post.

You Learn

Veronica A. Shoffstall

After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean possession
and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant your
own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn...

Have you ever felt the words of a poem just touch exactly who you are and what you are going through in a certain moment in your life? Which poem? How did it touch you?


  1. I love poetry! In fact, I wrote a post about it and how National Endowment of the Arts is reporting an ever dwindling number of poetry readers. Sad! The Lake Isle of Innisfree is really beautiful, and has always struck a chord with me. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  2. Rebecca, this is so very very beautiful. I've been thinking a lot about poetry lately too - you've inspired me to start reading more of it.

  3. I really loved that!!! I like free verse too....!

  4. This time of year, The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens exactly expresses how I feel. ("One must have been cold a long time...")

  5. Very good poem -- I think this poem also deals with how being in a relationship does not define a person; to remember to be true to your own self.

  6. You broke up with John??? :( I'm sorry, sweetie!

    I'm sure there have been poems I've connected with. Well, do songs count? Because Joni Mitchell wrote the soundtrack to my sophomore year of high school.

  7. Oh yes ... I know this one! I used it many a times during break-ups or breakdowns in life. I'm so happy to be reminded of it again!!

    And I hope you keep doing this meme .. I love it. It has helped me get in touch with poems I'd long forgotten about. And I've been exposed to so many neat poems by visiting the other posts.


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