The poem in question: Can’t Run
Well, I take that back. There is something. Where What Lies In Wait treated the people going to their reward, Can’t Run gives a glimpse of them while they still have some hope, ill-founded though it may be:
Their flight from inquity / was set out on right foot, wrong path / And as for freedom, they had none.
These are people who have realized that the path they are on is wrong and will ultimately lead them somewhere they don’t want to end up. They make a decision to turn their lives in another direction, but don’t really think about what direction it is, as long as it’s not the same one they were going before. The problem lies in the fact that they don’t realize that there’s more than one way to hell, and that many of them are, in fact, paved with good intentions.
Now, other than a brief blurb in the Achievement commentary, I haven’t touched much on writing style (though I plan to in quite a few upcoming commentaries). It is interesting to me to see that the three poems from my freshman English class contained no attempt at rhyming, and so What Lies in Wait and Can’t Run contain my first published attempts. Early on I seemed very focused on just making the lines rhyme, without much attention to how the lines broke up, or read aloud. (Not that I think poetry is necessarily meant to be read aloud. Often, that ruins it, because too many people have no freaking clue how to read aloud properly. But I digress.) I think these two poems are somewhat hurt by this approach, though Can’t Run fairs better, as does my hasty “rewrite” of What Lies in Wait a few days ago.
These early poems are fun to look back on because it is fun to see what different writing styles I employed and how they have changed (or stayed the same) over time. At the same time, they are sometimes embarrassing to read, because did I really think/write/whatever like that? It’s sort of like when you become a parent and have to change your first diaper, and you’re reminded that you, too, used to pee your pants on a regular basis.
Or maybe it’s nothing like that at all.