Querida Clara: Issue 5

Reading Time: 1 minute

Issue 5, Volume 112

By Clara Shapiro 

“How does one deal with the realization that their high school experience is going to end soon and they’ve had no great relationships or memories (except for a few)?” —Anonymous Senior

Rattle the Tabor, strike the Drum

Gambol and Frisk in the Face of the Sun

Hang From the Vines, pour out the Wine

And in the curve of your Cup

Glimpse the spirit Divine!

I know this is a mad mix of verve and verse, with strange Capitalizations and syntax reversed. Yet is not this the way of life? A bit random, haphazard, free-flowing, unexpected, senseless, but ultimately with a rhyme and a rhythm around which things align?

In practice, I know that we cannot go into school and simply “gambol and frisk” and “hang from the vines” as I suggested. For one thing, there is homework to do. There are tests to take. Besides, I do not know what the disciplinary repercussions of “pouring out the Wine” on DOE property might be. Yet there really is something to be said for the Dionysian spirit, flinging yourself at life wholeheartedly, plunging your sword in up to the hilt, filling up the wine cup (well, not really), and then draining it dry. That being said, I am not trying to choke everybody in the joie de vivre… no point in chugging the wine of the Maenads in such huge gulps that you can’t even notice a single drop. “Life is good,” these revelers say, swilling down more wine.

BAH! Life is NOT good! Life is often good. Life is often bad. Life is pit, and life is peak. Do we have any choice but to accept this and to enjoy the tumult of the experience while we can? For life is wild and can’t be stifled; the poem is precious even if it doesn’t rhyme-uhld.