Thursday Verseday with Arlinda
Not too long ago, in Obscura’s Spring 2013 edition, I came across a poem written by Jasmin Cooper. Her poem “Rooted in Uncertainty” instantly caught my attention, especially as a college student wondering what to do after graduation. In the poem, the speaker points out that unlike a “slip of paper” people are not able to simply go from one place to another with their future destination permanently designated. We are unsure, we wonder where we want our lives to take us, and more importantly, unlike placing a stamp on a piece of paper and sending it away, or being carried by the wind, we wonder how we are going to get to where we are going.
I see the single slip of paper floating in the breeze;
No real direction, only uncertainties.
Uncertain of its future,
Unsure of its path
Just a slip of paper, discarded like trash.
I too am this paper.
My future I do not know,
But unlike this paper, I cannot simply GO!
(Jasmin Cooper, “Rooted in Uncertainty”)
Jasmine Cooper’s poem presents the idea that people cannot simply float in the wind; people need direction, although life is uncertain, it is the uncertainty that grounds us and makes us hope for the future. The speaker in the poem identifies with the slip of paper, and just like the paper, the speaker is unsure of what the future holds. While we sometimes wish we could have the freedom of a piece of paper in the wind, the speaker conveys that we “cannot simply GO!” Sometimes it is our uncertainties that bind us and make us fear to move towards a new future.
As college students, although we are unsure of where we are going, and some may be unsure of what they are going to do, we are like that slip of paper and soon we will have to decide where we want to go. It may be stressful, and we may feel “Rooted in Uncertainty” just as the title of Jasmin Cooper’s poem portrays, but it is that very uncertainty holding us in place that can be made into our drive to move forward.