I Am Just a Play-Thing

by Ashok Sharda

I derive pleasure
When playing with meaning
But find no fulfillment
In playing with words

Playing with meaning
Eventually forces me
To play with words
That shape the meanings
Ultimately, I end up
Playing with words

And the words?
Oh! They end up playing with me

I am just a play-thing
Between meanings and words
You are free to mean
Whatever you mean
From the meaning that I mean


Posted on 10/27/2004
Copyright © 2023 Ashok Sharda

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 10/28/04 at 11:25 AM

and are there in this world, better playmates than words. words in the morning, words in the evening and words at supper time. in the beginning was the word, so too in the end will the words remain faithful as childhood toys.

Posted by Charles E Minshall on 10/29/04 at 02:09 AM

I would never be demeaning all your words are always gleaning meaning...Fun Poem A Shock....Charlie

Posted by JD Clay on 10/29/04 at 02:35 AM

The key word here is obviously play. Every time I overthink it pains me, haha! I've since learned to contemplate until it starts to hurt, then back it off a notch or two. Jovial poetry, Ashok, playful and profound. Pe4ce...

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 10/30/04 at 12:08 PM

LOL! I think you like playing with words if this poem is an indication. On a more serious note too many people play with meaning--saying one thing and meaning another!

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/30/04 at 10:12 PM

Playful, and yet reassuringly serious in its truthful expression.

Posted by Thomas K. Hunt on 10/31/04 at 12:12 PM

Excellent..once again you amaze

Posted by Gabrielle L Gervais on 11/16/04 at 12:47 PM

awesome, and so true, caught there between the words, the meaning, the expression, the interpretation... a playful piece

Posted by Rula Shin on 05/22/05 at 04:06 PM

I Am Just a Play-Thing Yes, one who’s will is to meaning is “just a play-thing between meanings and words” – and here it is you give so much meaning to these words you have put to paper. “I derive pleasure…playing with meaning but find no fulfillment in playing with words” – this so perfectly portrays the conundrum of one who seeks to define his indefinable realizations in words. It’s interesting when you think of this in terms of poetry and the poet. We are always trying to define ART and opinions are all so subjective. But I think the one thing most will agree upon is that MEANING must always be part of the equation. No creation that is worthwhile or beautiful is lacking in meaning. Apart from this, the point is not that this poem of yours is about poetry, but that poetry is, by default, a result of a meaningful realization. It is meaning that makes the poem, meaning which defines the beauty of the words, and not the other way around. And though some may argue that beauty in and of itself IS the meaning and thus beauty defines meaning, well then they are saying the same thing and proving the point. Beauty related through words is a realization of WHAT IS beautiful, and thus, when one captures in words the beauty, it is a capturing of WHAT IS the meaning of beauty. It is the realization, the discovery of the beauty as it exists in its indefinable state that makes the words on paper poetic. Well, this is about an intentional seeking of meaning, and the frustration that one must use such limited means of communication, here being words, to define it. Yes, “Playing with meaning Eventually forces me To play with words” – and this is where defining WHAT IS becomes so difficult, almost impossible. “You are free to mean Whatever you mean From the meaning that I mean” – Yes, one can only experience WHAT IS by himself, and the attempt to find meaning in the words is only an attempt to define the indefinable, to guide the reader to the revelation that will never relate the meaning as the poet himself realized it.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 07/07/05 at 06:11 AM

Oh, I love this poem. You cause me to find myself in the middle of those two deciding which to face first. But of course, you are right, the meanings push us toward the words. Very cool poem, Ashok.

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