Friday, February 16, 2007

The Swimming Lesson

Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves
Reaching around my life, I moved my arms
And coughed, and in the end saw land.

Somebody, I suppose,
Remembering the medieval maxim,
Had tossed me in,
Had wanted me to learn to swim,

Not knowing that none of us, who ever came back
From that long lonely fall and frenzied rising,
Ever learned anything at all
About swimming, but only
How to put off, one by one,
Dreams and pity, love and grace, -
How to survive in any place.

-- Mary Oliver --


kimya said...

disclaimer: not my own poem, but i likes it cos it talks about the siNk-or-sWim of life..


diatribe said...

the sink or swim philosphies of life are usually not a choice but an act of fight or flight..





Anonymous said...

Hi Kimya

This is a bit in the deep end for me. Swim. Simple. I cannot imagine any other way.


Anonymous said...

If that sea is made of Creme Soda, it's bubbles will make us float to the sweet surface :)

Life is always merely the perspective we view it from :)

May we all find the beautifull perspective.. as you have given me :)

-S- <3

kimya said...


survival, hey:)
maybe so... interpretations may be varied and coloured by relative living... :P

anon: swim then! stop imagining any other way! if u can do it, flaunT it! lol

singleguy said...

Kimya, my are in danger of making a cultured poetry lover from this Cro Magnon man.

This poem speaks more to me than the rest...because that is pretty much what happened to me at my swimming lesson. 20 years Ago.

I still can't swim.

I think that this can have two effects on a person. either you sink or you swim. but whatever happens, you come out the water a changed person. I developed a fear of the water.

kimya said...

hey SG

interesting slant on the poem, u got there.. im equally fascinated and afraid of the power of the ocean.. drowning is another story altogether: im not equipped with a death wish :P

but this poem is about surviving in whatever circumstances life puts us in.. enjoying the overwhelming and knowing theres to be a grounding at some point.. you can choose to spend life on the shore or take the plunge and truly LIVE :))

verbosity said...

hello swimmers and sinkers

its all about choices we make. you can choose to stay on the beach or you can make life an adventure! then you get those folk that will write about the adventures of their own or others, and yet other peeps who will only ever get to read about it!

take ur pick and live with no regret!

ps: my webpage is having difficulty and should be up and ready in a few days