Krysta recently posted this, and I think that everyone has a different interpretation when reading poetry.
Martin Carter wrote poems that spoke to the heart of Guyanese and West Indians, and when we read his poems we can relate intimately most times.
When I read that line “I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world”, I am reminded of something else that I had heard; we can each in our own small way bring change to the world, but do not look globally, look rather at the small portion of the world that is around you, and do something small to make a difference. Smile at a fellow pedestrian on the street, open a door for someone you don’t know, tell a policeman on the road “Good Morning Officer, have a nice day”.
Mother Theresa did not try to change the World, she just started on one street in Calcutta.
Given the way the days are unfurling, I’m finding this Martin Carter quote from my childhood less inspiring than I used to. Maybe someone will say something about the necessity of “dreaming big” before starting anything but in the aftermath of Kony 2012, I find the concept of dreaming to change the world a little lazy and arrogant. Even if you had a dream machine flipped to the nth power of world peace, dreams don’t solve problems.
Maybe he should’ve said “strategise to change the world” but then that would have nothing to do with sleeping. Not to mention it throws the whole verse off. I don’t even get the jump from not sleeping to dream but dreaming to change the world. Shouldn’t it be not sleeping to dream but sleeping to … whatever? I think I’ve stared at this verse too long.
What does it mean to you?