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Shrinking violets

Shrinking violets

Oh to be quiet in a world so loud!
Suspected and dismissed, much derided,
For long are the shy under misty cloud:
Darwin dismissed them ‘with odd state of head’,
Jane Austin giving shyness broader scope,
Calling it ‘moral, mental-borne disease’, 
And Freud, his fame fending for men no rope,
With a sub-conscious born twist of his,
Smelling some ‘displaced love of self-scored goals’,
And poking fun and scoring birdie holes
To where simplest disposition was, lo,
Too cumbersome gossamer gauze he saw!
   And violets too sensitive to blame,
   O’er-whelmed, shrunk with self-deprecating shame.

Perchance, shyness draws societal unease,
Yet, are we all, not social birds by far?
Seldom we all unto same mould can squeeze,
Some do dream of strange wings of a lone star;
So, here I’m basking under this good bliss—
That, shy souls often more inventive are,
Though sensitive nigh to a gawking gaze,
The shy tolerant are to worldly ways,
Mistaking plane shyness as being cold,
Aloof, and worse still somewhat arrogant,
Valuing those that are loud, all so bold,
We know now, they were a tad ignorant.
   So, let them bask under ignorant bliss,
   I muse on what this creative bird is. 

Okay, I’m a touch-me-not violet,
Yet not so shy hiding behind odd hills.
Nor introvert with a lazy mind-set—
But with gifts to fertilise fecund skills
That may elude talkatively inclined,
Who, in loners, lack of social skills find.
Some greats may confess to ‘fainting with fears’
Ere delivering speech to these speakers!
I know my shyness has none ever hurt
But me—I’m still cosy under my skin,
That keeps me naturally verdant green,
This scarce can claim many an extrovert.
   So then, O let me love my solitude,
   And in being inventive, let me brood!
Two recent books set thinking birds brooding about bashfulness. The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks; and Shrinking Violets: The Secret Life of Shyness, by Joe Moran. These books advocate that the shy should get a better deal, for they tend to be more creative. Here is why, musing over these three sonnets, I feel elated.
   Happenings | 01.03.2017 |   
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