Easter, I Barely Knew Ye.
I’m back again with what will hopefully be today’s first of a few poems I’ve decided to get out of my backlogs and onto the website, in an attempt to make up for my total silence over the Easter weeks.
‘Chocolate Months’ was actually written just this week, since the semester has picked back up at Uni, and with it, the return of all of those who went back home for the month (leaving me alone in my flat and on campus while I stayed in Southampton to work). I sound bitter, but really this past month I was so busy with working a full-time rota, making visits home wherever I could to see returning friends, and procrastinating essays, to even register how empty Southampton was without the majority of its student populace.
This, however, was a hell of a lot more evident when I made a trip to the library on Tuesday this week, on what was one of the nicest days we’ve had down South in a long while. Campus was absolutely packed with students again, more so than I had ever seen it before Easter, and all around me I saw people enjoying the sunlight, the warm breeze, and just being carefree again in the midst of what should be the most stressful period in the University timetable.
This forms the crux of my thinking when I came to write ‘Chocolate Months’; observing the happiness that no doubt obscured the anxiety and worry of a student body in the depths of exams and course work. Interestingly, this poem originally started in my mind with what would later become the end of the poem; the images of anxieties and worries being masked by the general euphoria of coming back to a sunny campus and sharing the weather with great company, who many would not have seen for the whole of the Easter holiday.
On a more personal note, I found myself this week somewhat altering my own personality and mood in line with the weather, in true pathetic fallacy; being more confident and vibrant as the sun and heat beat down on me and my returning Uni friends. Though, this week also marked my sixth and final University counselling session, and despite my altered mood in the past few days and weeks, the idea of my more positive persona in the present day clashed immensely with the struggles and difficulties that befell the version of me who sought out the counselling back in February. This, too, plays into this idea of the weather masking our inner thoughts and worries. It, to me, really was almost morbidly funny, that with a generation often associated with a greater increase in mental health issues, and certainly with issues of suicide still being the single most common killer of men under 45 in the UK, that the campus with the oncoming summer sun was almost the most positive, and elated I’ve seen it since arriving in September last year.
I’m aware that this poem, and indeed the blog that accompanies it, took a much more dark and real tone than certainly the poem I uploaded yesterday, but I want to turn the conversation here into a positive. The fact that something as minute as the increased temperature, the return of friends, or the simplicity of enjoying an iced coffee while sat on the grass, can bring happiness to anyone, regardless of whether or not they’re suffering from some kind of internal conflict, is truly great, and I wanted to encapsulate that in ‘Chocolate Months’ while also touching upon some more serious points of talk. So, if you’ve made it this far into this blog post, thank you, and I promise one of the other poems I upload today will be a little lighter in tone, and hopefully a nice palate cleanser after this heavier barrage of words.