Reading this poem by Eli Siegel for the first time, I was amazed. I thought, “Someone is describing the very despair that I felt and never could have put into words—describing it with such style, depth and humor!” This poem made me feel I was related to other people and gave me hope that the unhappiness I felt could change—and through my studying Aesthetic Realism, it sure did! Here’s the poem:
Must I Wait All My Life; or, The Misery Song
(Uncouth-and-not Anthem of the Particular and General Unconscious)
Must I wait all my life for a certain thing to happen?
Must I spend all my days just in dozin’, just in nappin’?
Isn’t there to be a fire? Won’t some color come?
Am I blind? have I no luck? am I just plain dumb?
Must I wait all my life for a certain person’s comin’?
Will I die, my life gone, and still a love tune hummin’?
Is my life to be empty? Won’t some real love come in it?
Is my life just to be one grey minute after minute?
God, I could scream. God, I could tear myself to pieces—
I’m the boredest human of the whole damn human species.
I could bite, I could cry, I am hell tired of waitin’—
When the Lord made me he did some bum creatin’.
I listen for a sound but all I do is listen;
What other people get it always seems I’m missin’.
I’m in a deep unhappy ditch, I’m as miserable as sin.
Must I wait all my life for life just to begin?