Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Odd poem: ‘Life’ by Ronald Reagan, age 17

I wonder what it’s all about, and why
We suffer so, when little things go wrong?
We make our life a struggle,
When life should be a song.

Our troubles break and drench us,
Like spray on the cleaving prow
Of some trim Gloucester schooner
As it dips in a graceful bow.

Our troubles break and drench us
But like that cleaving prow,
The wind will fan and dry us
And we’ll watch some other bow.

But why does sorrow drench us
When our fellow passes on?
He’s just exchanged life’s dreary dirge
For an eternal life of song

What is the inborn human trait
That frowns on a life of song?
That makes us weep at the journey’s end,
When the journey was oft-times wrong?

Weep when we reach the door
That opens to let us in,
And brings to us eternal peace
As it closes again on sin.

Millions have gone before us,
And millions will come behind
So why do we curse and fight
At a fate wise and kind

We hang onto a jaded life
A life of sorrow and pain
A life that warps and breaks us,
And we try to run through it again.

Let’s face it, it’s doggerel–the meter comes and goes, sometimes three and sometimes four stresses in a line; the second and fourth lines in each stanza rhyme, but there is a lot of repetition. However, kudos to a 17-year-old to put together a strong, optimistic view of life, part faith-filled, part commonsense, a view that he retained throughout his life. Ronald Reagan (as illustrated in The Hypertexts) was a charming, witty, self-deprecating person.

On the other hand, he was largely responsible for the destruction of the American middle class, the increasing inequality of American society, and the beginning of the breakdown of public services by defunding – now impacting public education, environmental protection, etc. His foreign policy was riddled with lies and law-breaking. And on the personal level, he was not a good parent.

But he did try writing poetry as a teenager…