A Poetic Experiment: “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.


About marcpevans

I'm a composer, and a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara. This blog contains my philosophical musings on music and on other things. If you want to actually listen to my music, you can find it at www.marcevansmusic.com. Welcome! :)
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