The Title Explains It

Have you ever finished a book where you had no idea what purpose the title served until the very last pages? Or has a title so succinctly given meaning to a block of text that at first seemed utterly confusing to you?

Titles are powerful. Titles have the ability to sum up a mass idea into a few syllables. They are able to string seemingly scattered ideas into a long beaded chain and can make sense of chaos.

I wrote this haiku a year ago or so, and it illustrates this idea very well. I originally was going to share it without any explanation, but I wanted you to think about this. Read the poem first without the title. I’ll post it below:


curls fly with the swing
youth have certain innocence
swing rocks back . . . forth . . . back


Now, read the poem again, taking into consideration the title:


Take It

curls fly with the swing
youth have certain innocence
swing rocks back . . . forth . . . back


Did the tone of the vocalisation in your head change as you let the title inform the poem? Did the speed at which you read the words change? Did the mental image you created change after you knew the title? Many people read the poem with a happy and almost peaceful reading voice in their head, and imagine children playing and laughing in the park. Before they see the title, that is. It changes to threatening, disgusting, and repulsive once they understand how the title feeds into the subject, and the reading voice slows down, dwelling on the last line in particular. I don’t even have to tell you what you’re likely picturing in your mind right now.

There’s not really a ‘meta’ point to this post, or a specific link to recovery that I’m trying to present. Today, I just wanted to talk about something other than the whirlwind of eating disorders. I am fond of writing poetry and have many more works on my hard drive, so they may be posted randomly throughout my blogging presence here, just warning you.Image


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