You’re a Very Unique Person

You’re a very unique person,
and I think most people are not.
I look to you and remember
childhood dreams of sparkling plateaus.
Your sui generis mannerisms
can be imitated but not duplicated.
But if I were you I wouldn’t try so hard
to do what comes natural.
Copycats abound in this country.
Is there a higher goal than inspiring someone?
Most try so hard,
missing what comes natural.
And I think most people are not
achieving that sparkling plateau
dreamed of in childhood.
Adults are imitators.
I’m not sui generis, I don’t try so hard.
I look to you and mind my manners.
You’re a very unique person.
Is there a higher goal than inspiring someone?


Note: This poem is a kind of response or counterpart to a David Lehman poem from his book, The Daily Mirror. The first two lines of Lehman’s poem go: “I’m a very average person, / and I think most people are.”

This entry was posted in mockingbird poem, poem and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to You’re a Very Unique Person

  1. I like this,
    “if I were you I wouldn’t try so hard
    to do what comes natural.”

    wisdom there for sure and the seed of truth…the real us that lives in the window of youth…that resonated with me. Excellent and thoughtful poem, Mark.

  2. Sanaa says:

    This is so nice.. 😀
    I believe everyone is unique in their own beautiful way.. some are a source of inspiration to us as well..!
    Loved these lines:

    I look to you and mind my manners.
    You’re a very unique person.
    Is there a higher goal than inspiring someone?

    Beautifully executed 😀
    Have a great week!!

  3. vandana says:

    a unique person is hard to come by, but if that person does come donot let them go!!

  4. Somehow I get the feeling that being unique in mannerism would make you far from a role-model.. Maybe it works for teens, but being average might be even more unique…

  5. ihatepoetry says:

    I like the perspective here. A fun read, plus anyone who is a reader of David Lehman is a friend of mine.

  6. ellaedge says:

    I too enjoyed the nugget of gold revealed in your words~

  7. ManicDdaily says:

    Finding what one’s own norm is can be very hard! We all feel special and not==and are and not! Pretty difficult balance. Thanks, Mark. k.

  8. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Nice riposte!

  9. M says:

    reads like how something I’d say to my sons ~

  10. Marian says:

    Interesting flow to this one, even your choice of “natural” (vs. naturally) really has my attention throughout. Is there a higher goal than that? Probably. 🙂

  11. Kerry O'Connor says:

    I really like the attitude you display in the two opening lines (and explored throughout). Too many people under-estimate the positive effect they have on other people’s lives and world view.

  12. hedgewitch says:

    Man, that is a twisty little Lehman poem–really barbed in every word. Yours is a rather more ruminative and gentle-feeling thing, but it has a healthy tinge of mockery–or is it irony—here and there, and an extra helping of bite in its comparisons. I was reading the Latin tag as ‘self-generating’ till I looked it up–I’d say that meaning is not too far off base for the plateau that sparkles with a glitter that may (or may not) be gold..

    • I’m glad someone read the Lehman poem. My poem doesn’t really stand on its own, it’s a response of sorts to Lehman’s which, in contrast to mine, is quite remarkable. Both poems have what might be called a ‘may or may not’ pattern, like a message on a weirdly folded piece of paper. What really got me into it though was laughter at his first two lines, and what would the inverse of that be?

  13. In any event Mark I think Lehmen certainly inspired you…. I think to your chagrin, or disbelief maybe, your poem inspired me. Words can’t even describe the emotions that washed through me as I read your poem, visiting those far-back recesses, that special place in the way, way-back of my mind where I keep little pictures, and smells, sensory touches and hugs of all those people who have ever inspired me, ever touched my life with that delicate little flower, time, so precious, and heart felt love. Your poem most certainly stands alone…. Lehman may be a wonderful poet, honestly don’t know. But I know that you are. And I know this poem is inspiring….

  14. I like that you asked this twice “Is there a higher goal than inspiring someone?” I hope I am an inspiration but I don’t try to be. I’ve learned it is important to be my natural shape and not try to be a bonsai just because it is pleasing to some other person’s eye. When you are not comfortable with who you are you can’t relate in a healthy way to others. Very thoughtful poem and thanks for the new to me term “sui generis”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.