Wisdom In Elizabeth Alexander's Poem 19

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The Pursuit of Wisdom in Elizabeth Alexander’s Poem “Nineteen”

“The most valuable lessons aren’t taught. They’re experienced.” Indeed, experiences act as sculptors of one’s personality and psychological transformation. For each evolving being, they play a significant role in refining the individual’s future thoughts and behavior. Experiences provide us with empirical evidence that supports the lessons life teaches to all of us. In her poem “Nineteen”, Elizabeth Alexander suggests that psychological transformations are continually triggered by our curiosity of differences, our desire of learning from others and our pursuit of maturity. The author shares her reflection on one of her past summer experience in order to give advice to the readers about the coming-of-age through which everyone goes. Through the use of symbolism, tone and contrast, Alexander puts the emphasis on the coming-of-age of the persona, which is
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The author mentions the valuable experiences one retains from being open-minded and curious toward differences, as we greatly learn from understanding alternative perspectives. Also, the poem’s theme is brilliantly expressed, as everyone may relate to the subjects, such as sexuality, personal growth and the pursuit of freedom. Reflecting back on our own past experiences, just like Elizabeth Alexander does in this thoughtful poem, is a wise initiative, since introspection is a useful quality in being comfortable with ourselves. Indeed, being aware of our limits and following closely our own evolution permit us to anticipate the paths that will be proposed to us and make the appropriate decision, regarding our personal traits and preferences. All in all, introspection is an element of wisdom, that everyone should look
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