A Wild Thing Doesn’t Feel Sorry For Itself

Bloganuary Day 22

Dear World,

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.” So, why should humans, the lesser known ‘wild things’ ever muster up the audacious entitlement to ever feel sorry for ourselves?

I first learned of D.H Lawrence from his book entitled, Women in Love. It’s considered to be among his best works as he captures the lives and emotional conflicts of two sisters.

The next time I heard of the author’s work was in the movie, GI Jane. I heard Master Chief John James Urgayle, played by Viggo Mortensen quote the poem, Self-Pity. Though he quoted it aloud for all to hear, I believe he used it moreso for Lt. Jordan O’Neil, played by Demi Moore. She was the sole female soldier undergoing a brutal weeks-long training exercise amid doubt and prejudicial treatment.

Anyway, this isn’t a movie recap or review. Go watch it if you want to know how it turned out.

The poem goes like this:

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Self-Pity by D.H Lawrence

I quite like this poem. It reminds me that no one owes me anything in this world except myself. It tells me that if wild creatures as seemingly soft, delicate and beautiful as a bird has no self-pity, then I dare not have self pity. If a bird can survive in the wild, I can survive the atrocities of this world. Granted, birds won’t sit and become frozen on their own free will and we ought not do the same.

I feel as though the poem is often misunderstood. But then again, literary works are often left for interpretation and as such, the individuals reading and trying to decipher use their experience to guide their ways of thinking.

In my eyes, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have a cry about misfortunes. It means that we mustn’t sit in self-pity and wallow. What it encourages us to do is to accept the outcomes of situations as they come and keep it moving. Learning to pivot is important. Learning to find alternate solutions is important. There is always another way and self-pity is NOT it.


Here are two blog posts that encapsulates pivoting and balancing:

Altering the recipe – how I alter recipes by balancing changes and pivoting to increase quality without compromising quality.

Worms in my apples – how I kept my love for apples by changing the way I consume them.


Signed with love,

The Suburban Girl JA

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