Good morning! Last night, as I was looking through the Internet for famous poems and speeches, I happened to stumble upon this poem written by a user, Peter Benoit, on the website allpoetry.com
I’d just like to share this poem, as it deftly weaves through the realities of the multifaceted gem we call happiness.
“It’s far from evenly distributed
This cherished thing I’ve come here to describe
And if my research has contributed
One little bit to insight in your tribe
I’ll have improved the little life of man
So take a moment, if you will, subscribe
To what I tell you and my master plan:
The thing that we’ll henceforth call happiness
Is rare indeed and in the finite span
Of life is felt perhaps ten times or less ―
And maybe most of them in younger years.
It does not understand the numberless
And suffocating presence of the fears
That come to choke our crippled conscious hours.
This wondrous thing, a rarity, appears
In newborn baby’s cry, and nuptial flowers,
When we are recognized for what we do
And love the best, but just as soon it sours
And disappears, and it is only through
The miracle of memory and dreams
We take our starveling world and fill it new.
When we examine closer still it seems
That happiness is merely an oasis,
Or like the little bubbles on a stream
Where breathless minnows come to press their faces,
Because a breathless thing must pant and live
Before it swims away to other places.
Why would a loving Providence not give
A greater quota of this precious thing?
Or better yet, why not let it outlive
The much more common daily scorns and stings?
Instead, it comes unheralded and swells
The breast of life itself, but only clings
The barest second. It must live in wells
That we redrill because they have run dry;
It seems so long between the rainy spells.
A practiced statistician might apply
The apt analogy of Benford’s law
And I will not, as one of them, deny
There is some truth in it, but there’s a flaw:
Although the greater measure’s laid in youth
Before we find that we must strive and claw
Our way sometimes, when we are long in tooth
It still may like some hooded cobra rise
From depths whence it is piped and charmed, and sooth,
Thrust out its tongue and hiss with ancient eyes
That pierce the very pillar of our soul
Before it disappears again and dies
And yet these ten encounters make us whole.
So I conclude that happiness is rare
And yet at that it plays a vital role
In which more common sadness has its share.
We bottle not, but drink it from a stream.
And though we’re thirsty it is everywhere.
Why we can even find it in a dream
But it is gone before we’re woken up.
Sometimes it’s there for us to drink it seems
But fools we are forget to bring a cup.”
full link: https://allpoetry.com/poem/12200728–Canto-on-the-Statistical-Improbability-of-Happiness–by-peterbenoit1