Monday, February 7, 2011

Sweep Up Those Negative Thoughts

Last week, I forewarned all of you that I would limit the broad definition of life and perhaps narrow the scope of this blog.  I have chosen to do this by writing commentary on poems written by contemporary women poets.  This week, I have selected A New Broom by Witt Wittman:
A New Broom by Witt Wittmann

I bought a new broom today
and swept the cobwebs down,
A thick accumulation of dregs,
a mass of tangles and smut.
I whisked a conglomeration of dust
that forever stuck—inaccessible.
Lifted the rug under which was hidden
years of grime that
Made traversing treacherous
with things that trip you up.

I rolled that rug and cast it off
and pitched the whole mess out.
I bought a new broom today
and mucked about the house.

Gone are the indignities that cannot be untwined
from the unfulfilled goals and dreams,
Cleared the place of bitter resentments
secured with insecurities.
Shackling phobias, permanently pitched
with a flick of bristles strawy,
Dismal doubts and grubby grudges
all brushed not so effortlessly away.

I bought a new broom today 
and swept the corners of my brain.

I hope you enjoyed the poem!  Here’s my commentary on what I think it could teach us:

Accomplishing goals is indeed challenging.  During our climb towards achievement, we encounter numerous set backs and disappointments.  Often times, these set backs and disappointments impact the way we think and cloud our minds with negative thoughts of self-inadequacy that impede our self-motivation.  As a result, we sometimes temporarily stop striving to reach our goals.   

However, in order to jump back on track and once again go after our dreams, we must first take time to do some spring cleaning and cleanse our minds of all negative thoughts.  As Whittman suggests, we must buy a broom and clear away the cob webs of our insecurities, resentments, regrets, fears, and doubts. 

Once we have finished cleaning and can smell the sweet lemon scent of our squeaky clean minds, we will regain our self-motivation and will again be ready to tackle goal-achieving tasks.  Then, we can store away our brooms, because our negative thoughts will be long gone.  However, when our negative thoughts try to sneak up on us again, we shall have no worries; for our brooms will always be readily accessible, in the nearest closet, alert and dressed in armor, ready to perform cleaning duty once called.   


  1. Chelsea,

    Such encouraging words and such a beautiful interpretation of the poem! Your post brought out the elegance of the poem in conveying meaning and life lessons. Through your commentary, the poem is no longer just something to be annotated but rather a way to illustrate and pass along emotions, ideas, and the deeper meaning of life. Your holistic understanding of the poem made it much more applicable to everyday life, thus allowing all types of readers to relate to it. I for one was able to relate much better to the poem via the life lesson you extracted from the poem. I look forward to finding out more about life from your posts!


    PS: The background of your webpage is very relaxing, bright, colorful and hopeful. It conveys a sense of happy optimism that I really like!

  2. Chelsea,
    I very much enjoyed your reading of Wittman's poem. This is a very fitting choice as spring cleaning is only weeks away, and for us seniors, moving to a new location and starting a new life is only mere months away! I like the layout of the post, beginning with an intro, then the poem, followed by your commentary. It's separated very nicely. I would like to see maybe a few details about the author in future posts.
    Good luck,