Inside the Box

I have a friend. He writes poems, and he is Capricorn. So we will call him the Capricorn Poet. He is so easy to talk to, he can laugh well as a poet (we know a poet is highly correlated with sadness). He likes to recommend a book, and said, “you are not allowed to die before you read this book”. And I thought that book must be so damn good, but then he always said that for every recommendation. So, maybe he just wants me to read a lot before I die.

But, I am okay with it because so far those books he told me to read, I always enjoyed them. Well, almost. He likes Wisława Szymborska, and I think you should too.

One day, I asked him to read some shitty poem I wrote.


“That’s the thing with your poems: you don’t let people in. You write about something, but you make it hard to others to relate to it.” – the Capricorn Poet

“And poems shouldn’t be like that?” – Just Me


“But that’s my story.”

“Of course. But when you write a poem, and decided to share it, you should allowed people to make their own interpretation—and they will. You always need to make sure it has unlimited room for interpretation. It always says the same thing, but it should always offers you something new anytime you re-read it. And, even when the story behind it is yours, you need to allow people feel like they are in it too—that they can find themselves in it. Make your story as if it their own.”

“So, my poems are bad?”

“That’s not the point.”


“Let me tell you this. Reading your poems, is like open a box just to find another box in it. Like passing a house, and you want to see the inside. But in your poems, the only way to see through is by one open window.”

“And that’s not enough?”

He just shrugged his shoulders, answered my question with another question.


I wonder, how it feels to receive a gift that wrapped in a box that when you open it, you just find another box in it.

It must be annoying.


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