• Callum Holgate

Wake Up and Smell the Poetry



So I knew it wouldn’t take long before the more self-exploratory aspects of my writing made their way onto the site, and while kicking things off with a jaunty little poem about a friendly rat is all well and good, sometimes things aren’t quite as whimsical, and you find darker subjects being your muse.


This poem poses the question: “what would happen if I simply stayed asleep and never awoke?” It’s a thought that I’m sure many have experienced in darker times, when perhaps the escape of a dream feels better than the reality you find yourself in. This poem explores this, and how the people around the voice would react if this were the reality that were then subject to.


To me, there’s an interesting disconnect between the sleeping and the awake, for all intents and purposes, life carries on around the sleeping, with only certain things breaking that disconnect and bringing the sleeping person back to the realm of the awake. Given sleep’s similarities with death, and dreaming’s similarities with the idea of a heavenly afterlife, I thought the idea of a peaceful passing in sleep to be an intriguing topic for a poem to come about after a week or so of particularly troubling dreams I was having. The uncanny reality of a dream can sometimes pull you in and envelop your sleeping mind, and so when the waking finally comes, you almost feel cheated; ripped away from a better reality than the one you are otherwise in.


The poem sees the voice question the repercussions of their remaining in the dream world; to them an escape from harsh reality, no-doubt a better prospect than waking up to a world they deem worse than their dreams. The voice questions how the people in their life will react, first tackling the seemingly mundane issues that their death would cause, like their place at work needing filled, or the plans they may have made with friends now falling through, before coming to the realisation that their family would enter into some kind of extended suffering, all the while the voice has escaped into what they believe to be permanent bliss.


This poem, if I recall, flowed from me relatively quickly in terms of the scale of time it usually takes me to write a poem, and this may perhaps be because the aforementioned troubling dreams I was having, which promised a life that I deemed better than the one I was living at the time. To me, this poem was not only an exploration of what it would be like to have a loved one pass in their sleep, which can perhaps even be considered a form of soft suicide from the voice’s perspective, but also a manifestation of my own struggles for a week or so, wherein waking from my dreams into a harsher reality was certainly something I was dealing with.

So yes, I apologise for the stark contrast in the tone and theme of the two poems I have so far adorned my fledgling site with, but realistically, poetry is an all-encompassing art form. It allows for the poet to convey a range of emotions and allows them to do so in a multitude of ways, and that happens to be one of my favourite things about literature in general. Hopefully, over the course of this site, my poetry will touch on a plethora of subjects, some whimsical and fun, some more grounded in the darker realities of life, and I hope you can find something that connects with you, makes you laugh, or makes you think of things in a new way.


#blog #poetry #poems #analysis #self-exploration #sleep #dreams #literature #writing

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