Kings' Courier

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Defeat

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Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all worldglory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be levelled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that dies in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.

The following is my review of “Defeat” by Kahlil Gibran

Some fear defeat. Others thrive in it. The most dangerous of people are the ones that thrive in defeat because because they only come back from it stronger. In this poem it is shown that defeat has a negative connotation, but it does not have to. Kahlil Gibran, the author of “Defeat,” uses personification, anaphora, and irony to illustrate that defeat is notorious for being looked at as failure, but it does not have to be a bad thing.

In this poem, it would seem as if the narrator is speaking to someone; however, the speaker is talking to something rather than someone. Gibran personifies defeat all throughout the poem. Gibran does this to make it seem as if defeat is a dear friend if his. When one calls another friend, he thinks of him as someone that he can count on when he needs help. The speaker views defeat in the same way. His defeat has helped him grow and taught him how to endure the harsh world we live in. He learned through his many failures how he should best navigate the rough waters of life. Thomas Edison, a brilliant inventor, created the light bulb that we still use to this day. He did not create this on his first try or even his second. He told the world that his many failures made hime wiser and wiser until he created one of man’s greatest inventions. Defeat can beat a person down… or it can be used as a learning experience to make a person better.

As many already know, defeat is not a one-time occurrence. Defeat is repeated over and over. Gibran uses anaphora  to show that defeat is repeated in life just as it is in his poem. “Defeat, my defeat,” is repeated at the beginning of each stanza. I believe this is a symbol of the way defeat must come before the creation of something amazing. Michael Jordan, for instance, failed to make the cut for his high school basketball team. Now, he is known as the greatest player of all time. He had experienced defeat before had experienced success. One might say he had success because he had been defeated because that failure drove him to become the amazing player that he did.

It seems ironic that defeat can be the predecessor of success. Irony is used in this poem quite a bit to show that something seemingly terrible can result in something magnificent. “And the joy of being shunned and scorned.” When one gets shunned and/or scorned, he immediately thinks of sadness; however, this is not the case. The author uses the word joy. He finds joy in something that most find sorrow because he knows that ridicule will make him stronger. The saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” could not be any more true. If defeat does not kill a man, he will learn from it and will not make the same mistakes.

During my first couple years of high school, I did the bare minimum in school because I thought I’d be just fine. After realizing that I would be nowhere near fine fine, I decided to kick it up a notch, and I worked harder than I ever had before. I learned from my mistakes. I work hard as often as possible because I know I won’t regret it in the end. After learning that my grades weren’t cutting it, I could have given up and said that I’m too far behind. Luckily, that’s not how I operate. I saw my defeat at that time as an opportunity to prove to everyone what I am truly capable of. Defeat is not something to be feared… It is something to be treasured.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Defeat