What I Study

-Mary Monika, I Year M.A. English

Be warned.
What I study
Is not simple.
It is not easy,
And is most definitely not for the weak.

You go on and on.
About how it ain’t rocket science.
About how it ain’t that hard to read.
About how it ain’t even gonna get me a job.

Now, honestly though.
I don’t see you learning rocket science
To know so well levels of difficulty
I don’t see your shelves full of books
For so sure you seem to be about reading.
And I most definitely don’t see you getting a job in the future either.
What with all the people around.

People never stop to consider
The emotional baggage a literature student carries.
I do not simply read. I live within that world.
I feel everything my protagonist feels.
Sad stories ruin me, the violence, the truth, the hurt is something that becomes etched in my soul.
It is not a walk in the park.
Or a damn piece of cake.

I dare you to try what I do.
Try reading a novel
Yes, that’s right. A whole damn novel.
Now, try understanding the characters.
Why they do what they do?
How do they do it?
When do they do it?
Analyse situations, context, content.
Reasons, thoughts, lives.
That is my job.

Do you know how sad it is,
To love a book from the bottom of your heart
But have to rip it apart
In the name of exams?

Literature is easy they said.
I’d like to see them apply theory
To mere words.
I’d like to see them understand the numerous essays I read.
I’d like to see them unravel the effects of characterization, plot analysis, narrative techniques.
I’d like to see them, find a topic on their own,fill a document with 2500 words all from their head.

I agree, none of what I study
Is an impossible task.
But how can you,
Oblivious, stubborn you,
Deem it unworthy when you cannot even stand to read this poem completely?


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