"I Can't Win"
by Helga Ross
I take a stand and I’m stubborn, you say.
Okay, I am. So are you. What are we to do?
When impasse comes to pass to our dismay
forestalling allies-at-odds, (nothing new),
whose blood see-through bond obliges breakthrough?
The debate's a draw--not worth losing sleep—
see, (S)He who can't be reasoned with, is YOU!
Okay, my friend, you win, so I may keep
my peace of mind, sow only as I’d reap.
I have no choice but learn to get along—
there is no trade—sometimes you make me weep.
Still, our combination’s made me strong:
Thanks to you, Conscience, I can look at me:
Some One I like, despite your victory.
The first thing I noticed about this poem is the personification of the speaker's conscience. Throughout the poem he/she is fighting with their conscience, as evidenced by the capitalization of "YOU!", which adds more emotion to the line. This inner battle is the main conflict of the poem and is an interesting clash between external and internal forces within the speaker.
The epitaph at the end (does that qualify?), drives the purpose of the sonnet home, saying that our conscience guides our thoughts and actions. We are better off for it in the end, even if it feels like we are fighting with ourselves at times. This is best evidenced by the speaker describing herself as "someone I like" at the very end.
sestina: six words
8 years ago