We Are So Young: A Poem

Back in university, I was required to buy an anthology of poetry for my English class. At the time, I was none too pleased– I’ve always appreciated poetry, but what I did not appreciate was being forced to spend a ridiculous sum of money on a book I didn’t think I would use for anything other than that one class. However, I was proved wrong. This anthology of poetry (which covers quite a range of poets, from Shakespeare to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Sylvia Plath) has been well-read in those years since I was in university. I’ve read most of it, but the most-thumbed pages are those of the Romantic era. Whether it’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, I think Romantic poetry is beautiful, expressive, and relatable.

Romantic poetry was often based on nature and emotion; as it was a reaction against the more objective attitudes of the Enlightenment. I think it’s because of that emotion that I appreciate it so much. Though the Romantic poets may have been frustrated in their careers or personal lives, they were still able to create amazingly expressive and wonderful poetry. It’s that beauty through adversity that so appeals to me.

My favourite Romantic poet, John Keats, certainly had his fair share of trials and frustrations. Often depressed and ill, he was well aware of the fleetingness of life and he seemed to have premonitions that his own life was to be a short one. I personally don’t have such troubles; but I can feel the emotion in Keats’s work and in my own times of uncertainty and hopelessness his poems resonate with me. It is a good thing to be young, but it can also be difficult when one doesn’t know the way ahead. It was with a Keatsian mind that I wrote the following poem: it’s not a thing like Keats’s work, few have a gift like his and I certainly don’t! But I think the idea is a reflection of the themes he felt and included in his work. I hope my readers will enjoy it.

We Are So Young

We are so young, how can we know

When to stay and when to go?

Which voice to heed, and path to tread

Do we choose sanity, or love instead?

We have not known life, yet never will

Without trials that teach and risks that thrill

But we are so young; where to find

The key to future, and peace of mind?

Regret is for the old, let it not touch us

Let us not look back, until all is dust

Yet we are consumed, and simply led

And will not even look ahead.

Too young for wisdom, we forge on

Towards an indeterminable dawn

Perhaps, we say, to find our own

Though we shall stand in that sun alone.

We are so young, how can we know

We must not wait, but bravely go

We are so young; and were never told

That all this time, we’ve gotten old.

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9 thoughts on “We Are So Young: A Poem

  1. A Lovely poem Adair! It’s interesting that so many artists used their depression and other illnesses as a stimulant for their works. The creations they produced emotional and stunning.

  2. Beautiful, Adair. You have captured the confusion of youthful uncertainty. And I love the twist on the final line.

    • Thank you so much. Funny, I had the first two lines and last two lines in my head before I created the rest of the poem. I’m very glad you liked it!

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