Jun 01

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On Box Making

Boxes come in many forms.
Some are thin and some are fat,
Some are round and others square,
And some even have steering wheels.

Still others are of a subtler sort.
for instance
If I say I’m bad at sports
Or Calculus
Or loving
Well, there’s a box that I just made and sat right down in.

Or if I were to insist that you do it this way
Or not that way
Or not at all
Well, now I’ve made a box for you and stuck you in it.

So try not to be overzealous in your box-making.

It would be like if you sat down to write a poem, and I told you not to use any words beginning with vowels.
And you had once been criticized by your fifth-grade teacher for writing a run-on sentence, so you decided you’d better play it safe and keep to really short ones.
And I told you you’d better not use any long words either.
Just to be safe.
Well, pretty soon there’d be only one word left to write:


…but that’s hardly to say that all boxes are bad.

The canvas of O’ Keefe, the sonnet of Shakespeare, the symphony of Schubert: these are royal boxes, fit for a queen, as she watches life play out, discerning details that many might miss.

The right box can also keep us safe and comfortable, as many a cutely curled kitty can testify.

So my advice would simply be that whatever cube you encase yourself in, take note of where you’ve placed the walls.
And leave yourself a door — two, in case of fire.
Or at least give yourself a window.

At any rate, that is how I would construct my box.

But you don’t have to do it that way, if you find it too constricting.

This poem was originally published in The Musings of Marc Evans

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  1. Enchantment | Write-A-Holic

    […] to learn, I have to suspend judgment – become uncritical enough that I don’t feel a need to put the writing in boxes labeled “art” and […]

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