Kim Addonizio’s “The Way of the World” Revelation

The poem “The Way of the World” was a beautiful poem written by Kim Addonzio.  I thought it was so truthful and contained wonderful metaphors throughout.  I believe it revealed the ugly truth that humans do have an evil side, and most are unwilling to admit it outwardly.  As other people progress and succeed in life, most people react by congratulating them and maybe sending them a card or present for their success.  But I think what Kim was trying to describe was the complexity of emotions felt at any given “happy moment” by all humans. It is as if we wear a mask to hide our imperfections and our feelings that are viewed as “bad”.  But in reality no one is perfect and we all struggle with choosing between good and evil.  It is this constant pull between kindness and evilness or jealously that makes all humans imperfect.  It is the decision to accept our imperfections that will ultimately free us from this constant battle.

This poem’s main focus was to reveal “human’s natural tendency to envy the good fortune of others” (p. 5).   I believe this poem was in a way a confession, but because it focused on the whole human race, it did not have characteristics of a typical confessional poem.  Kim did not focus on just herself, rather the poem revealed something about humanity as a whole.

What did you guys think of this poem?  What were your interpretations of this poem?  Would you consider this poem as confession or not?  Why?

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1 Response to Kim Addonizio’s “The Way of the World” Revelation

  1. Kristina Dehlin says:

    I really loved this poem for kind of the same reason you mentioned, that it admits to something that we all feel but are too afraid or ashamed to admit. At the same time, it forces the reader to recognize that they too feel envy like this sometimes by using the word “you.” I also enjoyed her use of objects and ideas hating each other to show the natural existence of envy in the world, which gives the reader some relief after admitting that they get jealous and are not always happy for a friend when something good happens to them because it shows that they are not alone and that everyone and everything at some point feels envious of another. I see this less of a confession (because as you mention it is not solely focused on the speaker’s experience), and more of a revelation (as you say in the title of this post) or a telling of an idea of how the world works because of how she applies the idea of envy to everyone and everything to ultimately realize and show that it truly is everywhere.

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