Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Air, Earth, Fire and Water- the four classical elements of the world; all four elements are major components of human life and all four elements are taken for granted. Air is what we breathe daily, earth is where we live, fire gives us warmth and water, well, water gives us multiple things. I believe that water is one element that is of most importance to us and one which we don’t appreciate.

Water. It is wet and cold, heavy and light and it flows with great ease. Water is also the most useful element on the planet as it can: purify, provide a home for creatures, quench thirst, destroy things and rebuild things. I didn’t realize until today how important water really is to us.

I’m going to take a different approach to explain how water has such a huge impact on our lives. I did some research and found that basically every poet has written about water and the way they perceive it. With these different perceptions I am finally able to appreciate water and the effects it has on us.

Emily Dickens “Water is Taught by Thirst”
“Water, is taught by thirst.
Land -- by the Oceans passed.
Transport -- by throe --
Peace -- by its battles told --
Love, by Memorial Mold --
Birds, by the Snow.”

Through this you learn that water is good for your body and appreciate the thirst it quenches.

Langston Hughes Excerpt from “Life is Fine”
 “I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.”

“I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.”

“But it was cold in that water! It was cold!”

Water has the ability not only to save life but take life.

Hafiz “A Suspended Blue Ocean”
 “The sky is a suspended blue ocean.
The stars are the fish that swim.
The planets are the white whales
I sometimes hitch a ride on,
And the sun and all light
Have forever fused themselves
Into my heart and upon
My skin.
There is only one rule
On this Wild Playground,
For every sign Hafiz has ever seen
Reads the same.
They all say,
‘Have fun, my dear; my dear, have fun,
In the Beloved's Divine
O, in the Beloved's

Water can be alluded to different aspects of the world and still represent its true form.

Robert Frost “Fire and Ice”
“Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.”

Water has different forms, ones which can be dangerous.

T.S. Elliot Excerpt from “Death by Water”
“PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, 
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell 
And the profit and loss.
 A current under sea 
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell 
He passed the stages of his age and youth 
 Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew 
 O you who turn the wheel and look to windward
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”

Water has the ability to purify and rebirth.

Jalaluddin Rumi Excerpt from “The Vigil”
“Lovers can't sleep when they feel the privacy
of the beloved all around them. Someone
who's thirsty may sleep for a little while,
but he or she will dream of water, a full jar
beside a creek, or the spiritual water you get
from another person. All night, listen
to the conversation. Stay up.
This moment is all there is.

Water can also be looked upon a religious and spiritual aspect. 


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