Living in the Body

Joyce Sutphen

Poem

Body is something you need in order to stay

on this planet and you only get one.

And no matter which one you get, it will not

be satisfactory. It will not be beautiful

enough, it will not be fast enough, it will

not keep on for days at a time, but will

pull you down into a sleepy swamp and

demand apples and coffee and chocolate cake.


Body is a thing you have to carry

from one day into the next. Always the

same eyebrows over the same eyes in the same

skin when you look in the mirror, and the

same creaky knee when you get up from the

floor and the same wrist under the watchband.

The changes you can make are small and

costly—better to leave it as it is.


Body is a thing that you have to leave

eventually. You know that because you have

seen others do it, others who were once like you,

living inside their pile of bones and

flesh, smiling at you, loving you,

leaning in the doorway, talking to you

for hours and then one day they

are gone. No forwarding address.

Main idea

Living in the body addresses a variety of different issues, beginning with complaint, then continuing with responsibility, monotony, aging, grieving and finally ends with death. The poem goes through life, beginning in youth, when we cannot fully appreciate the one body we have been granted and ending in the witness of death, where we finally realize the preciousness of it.

Why I chose this poem

When I was younger, I had major self esteem issues. I would feel extremely bad about myself and take it out on other people. It wasn't until I had started considering my health over body image that I finally realized my anxiety was pointless. More often than not, have at least one issue bugging us about our bodies. We all eventually mature, grow older and inevitably, die.

Song lyrics


she's so big hearted,
but not so remarkable
just an ordinary humble girl
expecting nothing as we're made to think
its a pretty person's world

but you are beautiful and you better go show it
go look again, you gotta be true to your own
if you really wanna go to the top
do you really wanna win?
don't believe in living normal, just to satisfy demand

well if you wanna get free
and if you wanna do the passionate thing
and if you wanna get smart for the sake of your heart
you should own your name and stand up tall
and get real and see the beauty in ugly

well you are fresh, you're face is fabulous
don't forget you're one of a kind
when nobody is checking the deeds you've done
and nobody is hearing your cries
you make all of the fashion statements
just by dressing up your mind

well if you wanna get free
and if you wanna do the passionate thing
and if you wanna get smart for the sake of your heart
you should own your name and stand up tall
and get real and see the beauty in ugly
and see the beauty in ulgy

well if you wanna get free
and if you wanna do the passionate thing
and if you wanna get smart for the sake of your heart and oh
you should own your name and stand up tall
and get real and see the beauty in ugly
see the beauty in a ulgy

Connection

"The beauty in ugly" talks about how you should always be true to yourself no matter what society tells you. In the video it shows "normal" people auditioning to be a model. Also seen is writing on the screen telling the audience what needs to be "fixed" with their image and style. Toward the end of the video we get to see the before and after pictures of the people auditioning to be a model, until the people revert to what they really look like.

Original poem

Outer flesh is what is valued strongly

But soul and mind is what can make us godly

inside is what creates a beautiful life

not the style, size, or looks that are defined

makeup on a lifeless body cannot create a worthwhile journey

how will you be remembered when you leave that shell?