Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers, was once titled as the wisest man on the face of the earth by the Oracle of Delphi. When Socrates got to know about this honour, he believed that the statement is completely wrong. Instead, he said, “I know one thing: that I know nothing.”
This instance proves that a person might be the most intelligent and wisest, but still, he may know nothing. Life is all about learning throughout its journey. You can learn from everything and everyone. Even simple things around you can teach important lessons which can eventually change your life. Literature especially poetry has the power to ignite one’s mind, soul and bring about a substantial change. So, here are six of those life lessons that can change your life.
- “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
The most iconic and celebrated lines of Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ tell us about the value of responsibility in our lives. Woods figure as the symbol of the beautiful proportion of life as well as life’s endless difficulties, sufferings, and distractions. Ultimately, we have to go on our ways to achieve our goals and fulfil our duties before the eternal sleep.
- “Now we will count to twelve
And we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
Let’s not speak in any language;
Let’s stop for one second,
And not move our arms so much.”
These lines from Spanish poet Pablo Neruda’s ‘Keeping Quiet’ appeals to the readers to take a little time out of their busy schedules and life for a little introspection and retrospection. We have to realize the impact of our deeds and be happy with our achievements. We have to stop for a bit and peep inside
- “There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions”
S. Eliot talks about procrastination in modern man’s life through these lines of his poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. It’s an examination of the tortured psyche of the modern man and how he keeps on postponing the important things of his life. In fact, this is the story that impersonates all of us. We always tend to procrastinate things and think about doing it sometimes in the future. We have to take a lesson to not to become another Prufrock.
- “Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all”
Emily Dickinson appeals to every one of us to not to lose hope even when you face the most difficult and challenging times of your life. You should believe in yourself and your abilities and cling on to the feathers of ‘hope’ to fly out of it.
- “If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,”
Here in these lines of the poem ‘If’, Rudyard Kipling makes us understand the importance of patience in one’s life. You have to be cool, calm and collected to tackle any challenging situation. The secret to success lies in the ability to remain patient and calm.
- “I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand -”
Through these lines of ‘A Dream within a Dream’, Edgar Allan Poe beautifully describes the significance of time in man’s life as we all know that time and tide wait for no man. It does not matter in which turmoil you’re currently in, you will never be able to contain the sands of time in your hands. It will definitely slip out of it.
So, poems do teach a lot of life lessons in the form of value of responsibilities, need for retrospection, doing away with all sorts of procrastination, clinging on to the feathers of hope, significance of being calm and patient, being the driver of our own destiny and time as the ultimate truth in the world. I firmly believe that these life lessons are capable of changing our lives and make us evolve as a better person.