S: Elements of Human Nature
FC: Elements of Human Nature (A poetry anthology) By: Matt Johnson
1: Table of contents: Me and the Mule....2&3 Invictus...4&5 Carry On!...6-9 Hate...10&11 Envy...12&13 Ambition...14&15 Strength Within...16&17 All but Blind...18&19 I saw a man...20&21 Pride...22&23 Human nature...24 Mine...25 About the author...26
2: My old mule, he's got a grin on his face. He's been a mule so long He's forgot about his race. I'm like that old mule--- Black---and don't give a damn! You got to take me Like I am. Hughes, Langston."Me and the mule." Selected Poems. Random House Inc. NY., 125 | Me and the mule
3: I like this poem for several reasons. One is how straightforward it is. There is no beating around the bush as to the meaning, he is proud of his race. In a time when discrimination of race was a very real factor in life, this poem was a bold statement against the norm. Another reason this poem appeals to me is how it ties into my theme, pride is a big aspect of human nature, and Langston finds pride in something generally frowned upon, making his pride somewhat unusual.
4: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. | Invictus
5: I like this poem mostly for how it describes the strength of the human spirit. It uses some very vivid descriptive words and analogies like the first line of the second stanza: "in the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud." That and the others are analogies I would never have connected in explaining the strength of the human spirit, offering a fresh new perspective on it. The poem also seems to scoff at the idea of a god or diety having any control over the spirit, an interesting outlook. | Henley, William."Invictus" One hundred and one famous poems, Barnes and noble, NY. 102.
6: It’s easy to fight when everything’s right, And you’re mad with thrill and the glory; It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near, And wallow in fields that are gory. It’s a different song when everything’s wrong, When you’re feeling infernally mortal; When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none, Buck up, little soldier, and chortle: Carry on! Carry on! There isn’t much punch in your blow. You are glaring and staring and hitting out blind; You are muddy and bloody, but never you mind. Carry on! Carry on! You haven’t the ghost of a show. It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath, Carry on, my son! Carry on! | Carry On!
7: And so in the strife of the battle of life It’s easy to fight when you’re winning; It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave, When the dawn of success is beginning. But the man who can meet despair and defeat With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing; The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height Is the man who can fight when he’s losing. Carry on! Carry on! Thing never were looming so black. But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak, And though you’re unlucky you never are weak. Carry on! Carry on! Brace up for another attack. It’s looking like hell, but – you never tell. Carry on, old man! Carry on!
8: There are some who drift out in the desert of doubt And some who in brutishness wallow; There are others, I know, who in piety go Because of a Heaven to follow. But to labor with zest, and to give of your best, For the sweetness and joy of the giving; To help folks along with a hand and a song; Why, there’s the real sunshine of living. Carry on! Carry on! Fight the good fight and true; Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer; There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here. Carry on! Carry on! Let the world be the better for you; And at last when you die, let this be your cry! Carry on, my soul! Carry on! | Service, Robert. "Carry On!" Collected Poems of Rober Service. Dodd Mead & Company, NY, 352
9: The primary purpose of this poem is to inspire courage. Courage seems to be a trait that is diminishing greatly in recent times. Now a days it seems like a call to arms would be mostly un answered unless a reward is offered. This poem calls for courage and valor in the face of trouble and trying times, not only when things are easy and going right. I like this poem so much because it truly inspires me to strive toward being as bold and corageous as it entails.
10: The draw of this poem is in how well it explains the feeling of hate. It tells of how hate can be so powerfull that even love can be broken apart by it. Hate is an emotion that anyone can relate with, many of us feel it on a regular basis. | Sandburg,Carl. "Hate" Completed Poems. Harcourt, Brace and Company, NY. 242.
11: ONE man killed another. The saying between them had been “I’d give you the shirt off my back.” The killer wept over the dead. The dead if he looks back knows the killer was sorry. It was a shot in one second of hate out of ten years of love. Why is the sun a red ball in the six o’clock mist? Why is the moon a tumbling chimney?… tumbling … tumbling … “I’d give you the shirt off my back” … And I’ll kill you if my head goes wrong. | Hate
12: Envy | May I ask you something? Why are you following me? Every time I turn around You are telling me something to wish for: his blue Mercedes his caramel girlfriend his bloomfield house his paycheck Leave me alone. | White, Kyle."Envy." YOU HEAR ME? Ed. Betsy Franco. Cambrige, Massachusettes, 2000, 62
13: I like this poem for two reasons. Firstly it is written by a teenage guy, but unlike most poetry by teenage guys this is not an emo or woe is me poem. It's remarkable and stands out from other works of similar authors because it even urges for an overcoming of the strong feeling of jealousy. That ties into my second reason, it shows that if a single teenager (a group notorious for being impulsive) can offer rising against envy why can't everyone? That challenge immediately attracted me to this poem.
14: I had ambition, by which sin The angels fell; I climbed and, step by step, O Lord, Ascended into Hell. Returning now to peace and quiet, And made more wise, Let my descent and fall, O Lord, Be into Paradise. | Ambition | Davies, William. "Ambition" Moder British Poetry. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. Harcourt, Brace & World Inc. NY, 176
15: I like this poem because it goes against the grain of normal thought. Usually all ambition is considered to be good, this poem tells of how it can be bad and how humility is needed. I especially enjoy the biblical references used in it, how he says "ascended into hell" to me that means he thought he was gaining but really was losing. The drastic change in attitude also draws me. Originally all ambitious, the character inevitably becomes humbled before God.
16: Show me your strength: this is our time to bleed. We've suffered for far too long. I won't give in. We'll fight. We'll fight. I've never felt so a lone. Will I ever find my way? You choose to hide in fear. In fear. Will we find strength within to fight against this world we're in? As my soul pants forth it thirsts and longs for you. My tears have ran dry. All my hope is in you. I won't hide behind my faith to keep me safe. The time has come for us to rise against our fear and lead a world that hides it's shame. I hope we'll rise at the chance to live again. The pain that dwells inside have run their roots far too deep. We swallow at the chance to truly live because we choose to hide behind suffering. If we fight against our emptiness and battle through our many losses. Will we have the chance to breathe again in a world that tells us we are nothing? | Strength Within By War of Ages
17: This is one of my favorite songs, but it also ties into my theme rather well. It speaks of us as people needing to find the strength inside of all of us, and also of how we could also choose to hide behind our fears and worries. I like how the artist almost leaves those open as choices to be made by the listeners. I choose to be one of those that find their inner strength, not one who lets the troubles of this world simply happen to them.
18: All but blind In his chambered hole Gropes for worms The four-clawed Mole. All but blind In the evening sky, The hooded Bat Twirls softly by. All but blind In the burning day The Barn-Owl blunders On her way. And blind as are These three to me, So, blind to Someone I must be. | All but blind | All but blind In his chambered hole Gropes for worms The four-clawed Mole. All but blind In the evening sky, The hooded Bat Twirls softly by. All but blind In the burning day The Barn-Owl blunders On her way. And blind as are These three to me, So, blind to Someone I must be. | All but blind | All but blind In his chambered hole Gropes for worms The four-clawed Mole. All but blind In the evening sky, The hooded Bat Twirls softly by. All but blind In the burning day The Barn-Owl blunders On her way. And blind as are These three to me, So, blind to Someone I must be. | All but blind
19: This poem is at little bit of a stretch for my topic. But to me our natural state of criticism can be fit into an aspect of our nature. I like this poem because instead of just saying " you are blind you are blind" the author admits that they can be seen as blind also. Usually people are very quick to point out the flaws of others and deny that they themselves are flawed perhaps in a similar manner. But this author sees that and admits it. | This poem is at little bit of a stretch for my topic. But to me our natural state of criticism can be fit into an aspect of our nature. I like this poem because instead of just saying " you are blind you are blind" the author admits that they can be seen as blind also. Usually people are very quick to point out the flaws of others and deny that they themselves are flawed perhaps in a similar manner. But this author sees that and admits it. | This poem is at little bit of a stretch for my topic. But to me our natural state of criticism can be fit into an aspect of our nature. I like this poem because instead of just saying " you are blind you are blind" the author admits that they can be seen as blind also. Usually people are very quick to point out the flaws of others and deny that they themselves are flawed perhaps in a similar manner. But this author sees that and admits it. | Mare, Walter. "All but blind" Modern British Poetry. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. Harcourt, Brace and World Inc. NY. 201
20: I saw a man | I saw a man pursuing the horizon; Round and round they sped. I was disturbed at this; I accosted the man. "It is futile," I said, "You can never-" "You lie," he cried, And ran on. | Crane, Stephen. " I saw a man" Modern American Poetry. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. Harcourt, Brace and World Inc. NY. 147
21: I like this poem becuase of the determination of the man. Though his goal really is un obtainable he is relentless in his pursuit. No disscouragement can make him falter. It seems to me that this determination was once more common, men striving for the greater things in life, those just out of reach. But now, as I look around myslelf I see that many give up once there is any difficulty.
22: Pride Pride is the only thing that keeps evil from feeling guilty inside. Let your enemy defeat you by not defeating you. When you succumb you overcome, when you resist you relent. Only by allowing without shame, can you Defeat an enemy that of itself will not blame. For the shame that is neglected is the scorn of the enemy that cannot be rejected. Know and understand and you will not be defeated in the end. An enemy with guilt is one that is on the brink of losing all they have built. Only with guilt and the destruction of false beliefs, can evil be beaten and brought to its knees. A warrior that is proud and yet without pride, is one that cannot be broken because of their humility inside. | Pride
23: I like this poem because it shows two sides of one element of human nature, pride. It speaks of how it is the drive of evil, and how the wicked thrive on not seeing their faults because of their pride blinding them. On the other side of the coin it talks about how when pride and humility are one it is one of the greatest attributes people can have. They understand they are not the greatest and have made mistakes but are steadfast and proud about what they stand for. | NightmareHero. "Pride" Allpoetry.com 2007
24: My nature, it is what make me; it is lust, it is pride, it is fear, it is anger, it is sorrow, it is despair, it is love, it is hope, it is humility, it is courage, all imperfect, yet together make me what I am, whole. | My nature | My nature By Matt Johnson
25: It is mine, all mine. I don't care, if it is yours. I want it. it is mine, all mine. the power, the wealth, the fame, it is mine, all mine. you cannot make me share. it is mine, all mine. | Mine By Matt Johnson
26: About the author: | Matthew James Allen Johnson currently resides in Stillwater OK. He is a sophomore in high school. His intrests include hanging out with friends reading and listening to music.