Completely Subjective: Jessica Goodheart’s “Advice for a Stegosaurus”

First_Dinosaur_Bone_head_xl_39421424_(Custom)Advice for a Stegosaurus seems like a simplistic poem at first glance due to the short length of the poem and the easy to understand language, but it has a message that can be missed on a person’s first time reading it. The message is one that a lot of people can relate to because it facing something that nobody can escape and the only thing in life that is guaranteed for every single person. It’s the inevitability of death and how to handle it. It’s something that everybody has to face and no one can avoid. Many people obsess over things that they are unable to control and I believe the message that the poem is trying to get across is that we shouldn’t worry about things that we can’t control including the past, future, and death.

The poem is saying that we shouldn’t worry about these things because what could do against the things that we can’t control. Worrying about it does nothing except provide us with stress. For example, the first stanza says to “Never mind the asteroid, the hot throat of the volcano.”(Goodheart) Those are things that could kill us, but they are out of our control. Due to the fact that they are out of our control, we are told to not worry about it. That is because there is no reason to worry about something that we can’t do anything about and that same principle applies to our past and future. I believe that the poem is saying that to focus on those things is pointless. We’re also not supposed to focus on the past because “Dust is dust.”(Goodheart) It’s the same thing as anything else that we can’t control. The past already happened and there is nothing that we can do to change it, so worrying about it is counter productive to another message in the poem which is to just do what you can in life because we are all  going to die and worrying about it won’t change it.

In the second stanza, there is a part that says “Don’t think,”(Goodheart) and that part of the poem encapsulates the theme very well. It means don’t think about the things that can kill you, don’t think about the past, and don’t think about death. It’s saying to just live your life. I believe the poem is saying to just live your life the best way that you can and don’t get hung up on the meaning of life and our mortality. Just live your life the way that you have been or the way that you want to because nothing that is out of our control will change just because we want it to, or because we are worrying about it. There is nothing we can do about it, and we shouldn’t try.

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