I am far from a poetry buff and in fact I'm pretty intimidated by poetry. Most of the time I don't get it and feel guilty about that. It's probably because I'm somewhat A.D.D. and have never been able to concentrate long enough to really take a poem in. That's why it's a surprise for me to be writing about a poem. But this poem now has great meaning for me and it's just from one evening. Let me explain.
When we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner this year, our host (who is known for writing witty poems for everyone in his life and had just written one for my 50th birthday) announced that he was going to read a poem before we started dinner. He mentioned his love for poetry and his first grandson's new appreciation for poetry. His grandson is about 10 year's old (my guess) and you could tell Grandpa was proud and thrilled that his Grandson had a new appreciation for poetry. Our host is also politically active and opinionated and had strong opinions about our recent presidential election as does a great deal of this country (including myself). These are some times of great change in this country, this world and on this great earth and I think this Grandfather recognized that the future may be challenging for his grandson and he wanted to express how he felt to his grandson through this poem that has obviously inspired himself throughout his life. So he read Rudyard Kipling's poem "If". Being a witness to this interchange was truly an honor.
BUT, the A.D.D. intimidated by poetry person in me came out and I could hardly understand the poem as it was being read because I was so distracted by wanting so badly to listen and understand. Ah the dilemma of the constantly distracted! Therefore when our host finished reading the poem I almost dropped my jaw when my quiet and somewhat anti-social husband had something to say. He actually recited a line from the poem and mentioned that he set a Dennis Hopper reading of the poem to music several years ago and this version was living on his Soundcloud page. You could not have surprised me more that my husband knew this poem. I know from being married to him that he thinks WAY more deeply than most people including myself and that one would never know it unless they truly got to know him one on one, but this was something that completely bowled me over and impressed me.
When we got home, I asked him to play this edited version of Dennis Hopper's reading of "IF" and then asked him to repeat it four times. It's gorgeous and it hit me like a ton of bricks why this Grandfather wanted to read this poem to his Grandson on the heels of this election and on Thanksgiving. Everyone should understand this poem and the humility in living a life that it expresses - especially our president elect.
So here is a real treat. Brennan's remix of Dennis Hopper's reading of "If" by Rudyard Kipling:
Tremendous. I'm so thankful that my husband is such a deep and thoughtful thinker. Most people wouldn't know it but he's a pretty special human being and I would say lives a lot by the poem "If".