Misanthropic Dream



Misanthropic Dream


Art transcends time and is a shared storehouse for emotion that can be felt long after the moment passes. For this reason, I have elected to submit a poem to the archive. I hope this piece of poetry can be heard years from now, and those that did not experience this era of history might understand what we have been through. Many of my favorite poems regale historical events, periods, or figures, and I can think of no better way to catalogue this year and a half than three chords and some words that come from somewhere deep inside of myself.
The pandemic has been a brutally difficult time for me, as it has been for many people. Prior to it, I was becoming disillusioned with both myself and the world. I felt lonely, jaded, and overtly misanthropic. But then I was forced to stay inside for months on end. I missed my friends, my family, the strangers that would make up the background characters of my normal life. I realized early on that I was not meant to be alone. However, the pandemic would extend far past this harsh lesson and into the next 18 months of my life. This poem records my feelings during this, and in that makes a primary source that future historians might ponder.
However, it gave me a lot of time to reflect upon myself and create. For several months I struggled to muster the strength to pick up my pen. But one august day, I sat in the sun and wrote the first line I had in much too long. From then on my only solace through the alternating chaos and boredom of 2020 was my old Taylor guitar, a notebook, and my words. I wrote many poems. Some of them were about people I had not seen since long before the pandemic. Others were ballads about stories that deserved to be poems. Most were about nothing, just how I felt that day. All of them were sad. But for every weepy, maudlin tune I wrote, I felt my old self returning. A person I had long forgotten and didn’t even realized I missed. Someone with the creativity to transmute his pain, alchemy -like, into poetry. A man that wasn’t afraid of his own shadow. Someone with hope. I do not know how I would’ve made it this far without being able to create.
Ultimately, a poem can never capture the totality of what has transpired. But it doesn’t have to. The poem written about the fall of the Aztec empire did not condense the totality of the epoch into its stanzas. It instead was much more mundane, the story of one person’s shame and heartbreak at what had occurred. Such sources can be the most human, and make you feel most connected to the past. While other documents can explain the what and why of a period, poetry and art enable us to reach out and feel what people were feeling in history.


May 4, 2020


Eau Claire, Wis.


Patric Tillery


Patric Tillery



This item was submitted on May 5, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Contribute an object” on the site “Western Wisconsin COVID-19 Archive Project”: https://lib02.uwec.edu/Omeka/s/C19

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