Promise me nothing if not the truth

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There are some promises we make to our friends and family solely to assuage or guilt. We promise to support someone and then when the time arrives we retreat. I am like a small child. If you make a promise to me. I take it to heart. I believe it with my whole heart. I get excited. I am not saying I can’t forgive a broken promise because I can. I understand that life gets in the way at times. My problem is with fake promises. The promises people make socially that they never have any intention of realizing. If you promise to do something for someone they will feel good until you don’t and then they will feel crushed/betrayed. Especially be wary when it involves the realization of someone’s dreams.  I am not willing to give up on my dreams but there are so many out there who will if their support system short-circuits.

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The worst for me is when after days, weeks, or even months of swearing they suddenly forget that they ever offered.  I’d rather they just fessed up and apologized so we could move on without the awkwardness and prolonged disappointment. I will continue to wait for the fulfillment of said agreement so that everyday it does not occur I will feel betrayed all over again (provided the situation is not clarified). I have a high opinion of people. My expectations are set based on what you say about yourself. So if you say I am an honest person and I promise to do such and such then I expect you to do such and such (within reason of course). If you say I lie frequently then I won’t hold you to any promises nor will I seek out any agreements or situations where I must rely on you. I will still be your friend of course but I will be spared unnecessary grief. I can accept a lot, try me. Please do not make me a promise you have no intention of keeping no matter how pleasurable it might feel in the short-term. If you do make me a promise and feel ill-equipped or uncertain about your ability to carry out said promise then tell me so strait up.

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Watch out for social promises, even online. I am a real person. A real person who just happens to be very sensitive and very gullible.  The next time you think to invite someone to coffee that you don’t actually like because you feel obligated/pressured just walk away. If they press you say I am sorry I do not feel we are compatible. Will you hurt their feelings?  Yes. Will it hurt them more to discover that you not only dislike like them but also pity them? Yes it hurts a lot worse trust me. A broken social agreement hurts and for those like myself who do not have a lot of friends or a lot of social finesse we take those agreements to heart.

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Whew now that I have ranted.

I was watching a documentary on Sylvia Plath and in it they talked about how early on she mimicked the styles of various writers (something most writers do as part of the learning process). In time she not only wanted to match her idols she wanted to best them. She was extremely competitive. I realized that is precisely what is necessary. It is not good enough for me to write as well as my idols (not that I do I am just saying) if I want to be recognized in my lifetime the only way to do it is to surpass them. I have no idea how to surpass them. All I know is that they have a name and I don’t. That name means A LOT. I have read work on WordPress by unpublished writers that is easily as good as the so-called best but they remain unrecognized by the public because they haven’t established a name. We assume people are good if they are famous, we give them the benefit of the doubt. I am going to confess something right now I don’t care for Emily Dickinson. I checked out a collection of her poetry not long ago. She is one of the most famous poets of all time and given my own leanings I assumed I would enjoy her work. Only I didn’t. I kept reading hoping I’d “get it”. Hoping I’d warm up to her but it didn’t happen. I will try again at another time.  Any famous poets you just don’t get? Without a name I have to have an talent that is completely indisputable. I can write. I feel that I am a poet. So I will write and one day maybe I will surpass all expectation.

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15 responses

  1. You know the poets who are famous are famous only because their work was picked up by people who had the where with all to write about them and have them studied in Universities. So much of literature is based on the thoughts of a few academics. Some poets are deserving of the fame they achieve. Some poets achieve fame through infamy. I agree with you about Emily Dickinson, I don’t get her either then again there are many I don’t get.
    I studied and taught Wordsworth for many years. Once i got past the feeling he was a wonderful example of verbal diarrhoea ( not my words actually I read them in an academic essay once, seemed very apt to me) and put his work into context, he was still verbose as far as I was concerned, taking a whole page to describe a field is a bit much, I was able to gain some understanding of what he was on about.
    One of the first poets I ever studied was Keats and he remains a favourite, it could have been the teacher i had I don’t know but he and Donne have always been good to me.
    Modern poets and there are many write about their worlds, often in language that is their own and that is fine only that they exclude many from their true meanings.
    The subjects within poetry have not necessarily changed all that much over the years. We still write about love in all its forms, our environment and we write to express love, disappointment or expectation. Our success is dependent on how our readers feel at the time they read, whether or not they ‘get’ us at the time. To me there is no way of telling what will work. As we have discussed before what we think is a good poem may receive no comments or very few. I wrote an ‘Ode to Crap’ some time ago for another bloggers blog. When I last looked it has received about 90 likes?
    Maybe people do like crap after all. I have prattled on a bit here Yves, your last section of this post got me going. Have a great day, and if I ever make a coffee date with you , I will be there!

    • I think you’re right Michael on many accounts. Wordsworth has a great name for a poet though doesn’t he? haha Sometimes when I come back a writer I am able to appreciate them as I couldn’t before. I will give Emily another chance in the future and see what I think of her. The subjects are indeed similar. I think we will always write about love, sorrow, disappointment birth, death etc. Wow Michael 90 likes is huge! Thank you so much Michael you have always been very real with me and I appreciate that more than I can ever express.

      • It’s an example I think of posting on a different blog, not mine, and that blog having a different demographic I think. People never stop surprising me. It’s not as if my ode to crap has any literary value I think it’s more that I wrote on it. I should give you the link so you too could be ‘edified’ by my crap.

      • Please do lol I notice when someone reblogs my post and they’ve a popular blog I get a lot more likes than I ordinarily would. I imagine if I just started another blog started writing poems that eventually I’d get an audience possibly different demographically than the one I have now. With Curious Flowers I have it linked to MLM so some of my friends look at both and then I have some people who found Curious Flowers first but who primarily visit MLM. MLM is more popular for sure (I write to it consistently and it has more activity, if you have likes people are more likely to like the attention makes it seem better I guess).

  2. I hope I didnt fail you in some way! 😦
    I am not the biggest fan of Emily, too. I respect and like her work, but I’d always rather read someone else. It happens to me that I like a poet, really like, and then everything else must best that and it is hard, because I seek to give loyalty to that poet and admire and preach his/her work forever.

  3. As I have an extremely bad memory, I know I have made promises and then truly forgotten them. Should I have done such a thing with you, my sincerest apologies.
    Some people make promises because they hope against hope they can keep them. I do that to try and outwit my mental and physical health issues. But they have a way of seeing through any ploy, and thus can short-circuit those promises I have made (to myself, to “real” people and “virtual” people.) or would truly love to make and fulfil.
    I know broken promises hurt. I’ve been heart-broken from broken promises, too.
    And, I also understand the “name” thing from when I was teaching. If you had a “name” (i.e. a publication — your phd thesis usually) you were considered as a better academic teacher than someone who had focused on teaching, working with the students, getting good feed-back from students, etc. The person with the publication would get the job teaching, over the person who was a teacher!
    The list of poets I don’t like is long. The list of lyrics I like and think of as poetry is even longer.

  4. Yves, I cannot find your post that has your post with connections to get your book as an ebook. I was going to get a hardcopy but I can’t afford $16. Please let me know how I can get it as an ebook. Thank you!! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    • (hugs) thank you so much! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Lulu has a set price if you do all the work yourself because Lulu wants a profit to make it worth their while. I think the set price is too high myself. So I understand totally if in the future you want to buy a hardcopy let me know and I will see if I can get you a discount.

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