If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss
—“If—” by Rudyard Kipling
“Open to Growth” is a notion meant to steer someone toward newfangled things, and to seek new experiences; even those that have some risk involved. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) These two statements truly embody a subcategory of the “Open to Growth” concept (JSEA Profile of the Graduate at Graduation, Open to Growth #11) also mentioned in today’s literature. Seeking new experiences, even those that involve some risk, is important for people to understand because it is of the utmost importance to know that if people do not take risks, life is not worth living because the person will never grow in their experience of life. Poetry is one place that this theory is most prevalent. Poetry is a great way to understand this view due to its ability of getting into the reader’s heart and giving impetus to take action in order to improve the person’s life. In addition, particular poets that lived in the early 1900’s seem to show a considerable trend of writing about this thought that may be due to their surroundings and momentous events witnessed by them.
In the poetry of Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, A.E. Housman, and Rudyard Kipling, it can be seen that the era in which they lived sets a trend in their works. All of the poems by these poets subconsciously tell the reader to live life to the fullest and to take risks. The reasoning behind this message from the poets is that life is short, and people are needed to experience as much of it as possible before time runs out. The period in which the poets lived is the realistic era (“The Road Not Taken” 1); an exceptional time for the world that promoted the living of life to the fullest and the seeking of new experience. These facts set the trend for the poetry of these notable authors, with which they made a name for themselves. All of the poets have made great reputations for themselves and have made great contributions to society, which mainly consist of inspiring others to take action in their lives and “carpe diem.” The four poems by these authors that were specifically chosen for analysis are “Dreams” by Hughes (Appendix B), “If—” by Kipling (Appendix A), “A Shropshire Lad II” by Housman (Appendix D), and “The Road Not Taken” by Frost (Appendix C). These poems utilize the mantra “carpe diem,” or “seize the day,” in order to encourage the reader to take risks in order to strengthen their experience of life.
When looked at closely, “Open to Growth” tells someone that life is short and that he need to be open to new experiences that involve some risk in order to make the most of each day. In the “Open to Growth” category, and almost all of the...