This semester I took a performance studies course where each individual chose different literary works to perform in front of our class. We performed three different pieces; a poem, a short story, and a compiled piece of different texts of our choice.
At the end of the semester, the performance studies area put on a fall showcase to show what the undergraduates taking these different classes had been working on.
I was actually asked by my professor to perform my poetry piece but, unfortunately, my schedule did not allow it. It was such a flattering offer though!!
The poem I chose for that assignment has really stuck with me and so I will share it with you!
It's called Do Not! by Stevie Smith.
Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,
Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?
Are you not also a man, and in your heart
Are there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?
Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,
Do you not think of yourself as usual,
Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,
Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?
You love your wife, you hold your children dear,
Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.
But they are not. So is your judgement shown
Presumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your own
Sadness for failed ambition set outside,
Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautified
In noble dress and into the world sent out
To run with the ill it most pretends to rout.
Oh know your own heart, that heart's not wholly evil,
And from the particular judge the general,
If judge you must, but with compassion see life,
Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.