By D. H. Lawrence:


I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Today’s poem is in the public domain, belongs to the masses, and appears here today accordingly.

David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885–1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. Lawrence’s opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his “savage pilgrimage.” Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature. (Annotated biography of D. H. Lawrence courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Editor’s Note: As I am wont to do from time to time, today I am inclined to indulge in the poetry that came before, which has so heavily influenced contemporary poetry. What strikes me when I go back to certain works of yore is their ability to speak directly to the heart of matters that remain extant today, namely to those aspects of the human condition which remain unchanged. Today’s poem speaks to the propensity to engage in self-pity, comparing the human animal to an animal better equipped for suffering. We are reminded in these four lines that the power to shift our perception lies within us. A striking little poem and a mantra for rising above the tendency toward melancholy within one’s self.

Want to see more by D. H. Lawrence?
The Literature Network

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Managing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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  1. Maya Elashi says:

    Great mantra! And, yes, we (in The West) have such a propensity for self-pity. Pity, really, it undermines existence itself!

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