A poem was written by my grandfather, a great writer, but relatively unknown. He died last year, and to commemorate him, here is his final poem, written about 3 to 4 months before he died (I think). I think its deeper than it looks like on first glance, but I want to see what you guys think about it.
In the room, with the bowl,
The bowl looked at me forlorn,
And I looked at it.
The bowl, in its white splendor,
Gazed up at me
With a white smile, it mouth in
An open O.
We took a journey, it and I.
Using an impersonal pronoun.
Because it is a thing
And not a he.
I have no reason to judge, yet I will,
Who is to stop me?
Maybe, ‘tis the bowl
Who, with garish simpleness,
Will look on forever, and ever.
Waiting to be used, but never be.
Until dust and rubble consumes its’ days.
P.S. I posted this earlier, but I’m reposting it to see if it gets anymore replies.
“Maybe, ‘tis the bowl”, or maybe, ’tis your grandfather.
To me, without much prior knowledge of the person your grandfather was, this sounds like a conversation with himself. A debate of sorts, calm but truly definite, as to whether it is the bowl or himself “Who, with garish simpleness, will look on forever, and ever. Waiting to be used, but never be. Sitting, sitting. Until dust and rubble consumes its’ days.”
And in the end, after that moment of true reflection – that true comparison of himself and something less than him – he found value in his work, his life.. maybe his existence as a whole.
I was getting a similar feel as the man (grandfather) and the bowl are representations for the same thing (a representation of the impermanence and isolation that is life at times). It could even be him looking at himself in the mirror, now old and cover in dust, reminiscing on his past when they (his body and consciousness) took a journey. He could be realizing he is more than the body he is currently in and that’s why he separates himself from it in the poem even though it has always been with him, smiling back. I might be over fantasizing but that’s what came to my mind initially and I usually just run with my initial reaction.
Symbolism. O. Circle. Round and round. Life. “We took a journey, it and I.” “Will look on forever, and ever.”