We Are Not Who You Perceive Us To Be

One of my favorite novels Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen describe feelings in a profound way. Here’s the dialogue…

“I have been used to consider poetry as “the food of love” said Darcy

“Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is
strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I
am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”
(Elizabeth)

As a poet, we may exaggerate our emotions to create an image, which readers may perceive as purely true. If we are sad and write about deep despair, perhaps it’s just an inclination of our sadness, not the reality of despair. If our readers fall in love with us for our poetry, then they are falling in love with the image we put out in exaggerated words, not with the reality of who we are in the flesh. Therefore, we should not deceive ourselves into thinking we are in love with the poet, but rather we like their poetry. When we believe the poet is all his/her words represent, we are in the state of day dreaming (as some may call delusion). Same goes for a photograph. An image of a person may be beautiful, but it does not and cannot represent the beauty of the actual person wholly. Same goes for a piece of writing, we only read what the writer wants us to read, but we cannot know what the writer has chosen to leave out. Sometimes what writers leave out represent a part of who they really are.

It is when we see people at their worst, do we analyze if our hearts are still on fire for them or dimming because of them. It would not dim had we presented ourselves in a real way to begin with (vice versa) or had we gotten to know someone better before infatuations cloud our ability to think and see clearly.

4 thoughts on “We Are Not Who You Perceive Us To Be

  1. You write so eloquently. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like reading a sigh that one makes when they are peaceful and happy. Thus shall I express my love for the prose and not the author. 🙂

    In reading this post it reminded me of a bigger question I often ponder on is why do we raise up false notions of those who inspire us? When I read Ender’s Game I was so inspired by the beauty of the story and was shocked to hear how the author is one of the biggest bigots towards homosexuality. And it seems to be only those who inspire and excite us do we raise up as perfection, only to be so disappointed that in the end their worse crime was to be just as imperfect as any one of us.

    • Oh that is very insightful. Since the movie Ender’s Game just came out in theaters, I had considered reading this. Even if I enjoy the novel (when I do eventually get to it), I will keep in mind to separate myself from the author. I had a conversation with another blogger about this topic and we talked about how actors could convince us they are indeed the characters they play until we realize they are duller versions of their masterpiece. To avoid disappointment, we should just enjoy the movie, disregard the belief, and enjoy the powerful feeling we get in the moment. 🙂 When you propose the question, “I often ponder on is why do we raise up false notions of those who inspire us?”…I wonder the same myself! Once again thank for for sharing, I really enjoy reading your thoughts.

  2. Your closing line is a gem. It’s almost satirical the way our very image towards others contradicts our own meandering beliefs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s