No bourgeois aestheticism here

Searching for blue…

I was once practicing a crucial presentation with my French colleagues.  I wondered out loud about how to present something–about how to present myself, actually.  One of my co-workers said something that has stuck with me ever since: Be yourself.  That way, you won’t have anything to regret.  He’s right: failing because you were not yourself, when you would have succeeded if you had been yourself, is one of those things that you would carry around for a long, long time–and regret sucks.  On the other hand, failing because you were yourself, when you might have succeeded if you had presented yourself as someone else, is an excellent indication that you should be doing something else, and that’s always a good thing to know.

I thought about that as I read today’s National Poetry Month treat, Shel Silverstein’s Masks.  Obviously the message of the poem–Silverstein’s poetry is definitely full of messages, no bourgeois aestheticism here–is profound; from a formal perspective, it amazes me that he delivers that message with only one word that is longer than a single syllable.  (It’s never.)


Shel Silverstein

She had blue skin.
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by—
And never knew.


3 thoughts on “No bourgeois aestheticism here”

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