Abandoning Roots

Our next featured poem is entitled “Faded.” Junior Abigail Reeth wrote this beautiful and haunting poem, which is written in a poetry form known as the villanelle. Extremely difficult to write, villanelles repeat the same rhymes over and over, evoking new meanings and images each time the rhyme is reintroduced. This creates a poem with beautifully crafted form and a sense of wholeness that is brought full circle by the final stanza, when the repeated lines or rhymes are put together to end the poem. Below you’ll find some of Abigail’s reflections on “Faded,” as well as the poem itself, which was printed in the September 2018 edition of The Lanthorn.

“Faded” was inspired by my feelings of loneliness when I first entered college as a freshman. Travelling to Houghton from Minnesota, I was initially excited to grow in my independence. However, I discovered that this transition into adulthood was not as liberating and empowering as I had expected, but that I also had lost something by uprooting myself from my home and family. This poem seeks to acknowledge the pain and even death that accompanies maturity and growth.

“Faded”

Abigail Reeth

Something inside my soul withered away,
When I left home impatient to be free,
I must be grown yet this feels like decay.

With spunky pride I sailed off, no delay,
Abandoning my roots, trailing debris,
Something inside my soul withered away.

Rejecting all the old realms of my play,
I fled the nurture of my family,
I must be grown yet this feels like decay.

Transplanted I discovered with dismay,
Not thinking there’d be pain in memory,
Something inside my soul withered away

And left a wasteland where my joy once lay,
The lonesome price for my autonomy,
I must be grown yet this feels like decay.

Faded inside I raise my heart to pray,
Can a new spirit blossom within me?
Something inside my soul withered away,
I must be grown yet this—feels like decay.

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