A Poem I Like #10


A Poem I Like #10

ALIVE by Maisha Prome

Rain drums, thrums on the rooftop
To a beat that overtakes the one that keeps me alive
And then slowly sings me to sleep at my desk

Tomorrow maybe, I'll finally get up from this desk
Still can't go outside but we can go to the rooftop
To look at the sky and remember that it'd good to be alive

All those years when the city was alive
And yet we sat still and studied, glued to the desk
only the rain knows reason as it rinses the rooftop.


I appreciate the parallels that Prome draws between the natural world and our personal realities. She points to the rhythm present in both the rain and her heartbeat, and she attributes a purposefulness to the rain akin to the purposefulness we seek in our own lives.

I see mention of the many simultaneous definitions of 'being alive' packed into this poem. The larger theme of life, too, is yet another thing held in common by the natural world and our own realities. Does living mean to simply have a heartbeat? Is a thing living if it knows rhythm and contributes to the music of life? Can a thing be alive if it has no agency to move around (say, in a pandemic)? Is it possible that a city that does not sleep, is not always alive? Does it suffice to be able to behold some of the world's beauty to be considered alive? Is an understanding of one's higher purpose necessary to be alive? ....The beauty of offering these thoughts through poetry, for me, is that underscores that notion that it is up to us to decide. We, as readers and as living being, are allowed to interpet what it means to be alive.

What does "being alive" mean to you? and for how much of your time on this earth have you really being living?

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