English I Honors Poetry Project
by Joe Wenderoth
Somehow it was, naturally trapped.
It was nothing more than a frightened animal.
Since than I raised it up.
I kept it for myself, kept it in my room,
Kept it for its own good.
I named the animal, My Life.
I found food for it and fed it with my bare hands.
I let it into my bed, let it breathe in my sleep.
And the animal, in my love, my constant care,
Grew up to be strong, and capable of many clever tricks.
One day, quite recently,
I was running my hand over the animal’s side
And I came to understand
That it could be very easily kill me.
I realized, further, that it would kill me.
This is why it exists, why I raised it.
Since then I have not known what to do.
I stopped feeding it,
Only to find that its growth
has nothing to do with food.
I stopped cleaning it
And found that it cleans itself.
I stopped singing it to sleep
And found that it falls asleep faster without my song.
I don’t know what to do.
I no longer make My Life to do tricks.
I leave the animal alone
And, for now, it leaves me alone, too.
I have nothing to say, nothing to do.
Between My Life and me,
A silence is coming.
Together, we will not get through this
"The River of Life"
by Thomas Campbell
The more we live, more brief appear (A)
Our life's succeeding stages; (B)
A day to childhood seems a year, (A)
And years like passing ages. (B)
The gladsome current of our youth, (C)
Ere passion yet disorders, (D)
Steals lingering like a river smooth (C)
Along its grassy borders. (D)
But as the careworn cheek grows wan, (E)
And sorrow's shafts fly thicker, (F)
Ye stars, that measure life to man, (E)
Why seem your courses quicker? (F)
When joys have lost their bloom and breath, (G)
And life itself is vapid, (H)
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death (G)
Feel we its tide more rapid? (H)
It may be strange—yet who would change (I)
Time's course to slower speeding, (J)
When one by one our friends have gone, (K)
And left our bosoms bleeding? (J)
Heaven gives our years of fading strength (L)
Indemnifying fleetness; (M)
And those of youth, a seeming length, (L)
Proportion'd to their sweetness. (M)