“For students, sharing their own stories of bravery, resilience, and determination [through poetry and creative writing] brings these qualities to the forefront of their minds and helps solidify the belief that underlies a growth mindset: I can improve and grow” (University of Berkeley, California).
This is where Masih from Cohort 2022 comes in. In this article, Masih showcases his passion for poetry and shares a little bit about its origins. See more of Masih on our Instagram here.
Hey Masih, can we get a brief introduction?
My name is Masih Mohammad Rafi, I am a first-year student in the faculty of Biological Sciences at SFU. I am part of the Beedie Luminaries cohort of 2022. Since I’ve joined this program, it has been nothing but some of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Besides school, I like to spend my time in athletics and spending time with family and friends. I am also very passionate about writing and public speaking, especially in the form of poetry. I am quite fond of conveying my message in a manner that both touches the reader/ listener’s heart and puts a different perspective to simple or complex aspects of life. I find poetry to be this form of uniting factor in my life; a tool where I can think both critically and creatively. To bring my different skills of writing, videography, music, and editing together to create something that allows me to express my emotions and thoughts.
My interest in poetry began when I wrote my first poem “Walls and Borders” in high school. It was based on my personal experiences and was a very emotional piece. After being away from writing and poetry for a while, I slowly rediscovered my passion as the challenges in university started to arise. I found it healing to write creative pieces about my experiences and those of others’ around me. Through poetry, I aspire to inspire others who enjoy my work to look for their passions and find the meaning in their creativity. I want to demonstrate that regardless of how rare or different one’s talents are, they should still be valued and shared!
I want to share a poem that I recently wrote which highlights the stereotypes people deal with, especially men. The different social norms and constructs that do not allow one to speak out about their issues. To “bottle things up”.
“He is a Man”
A poem by Masih Mohammad Rafi
He is so strong, so powerful, he can tear a mountain down
So solid he can stop a moving train
Planted in his position ready for every blow a canon can make
He is a man
He is so brittle yet so hard to break
So unstable he can be blown off by a wind
Pushed down are his emotions and feelings
Bottled up in a box deep beneath his feet
Afterall, those two things are what make him weak
[Among men, being vulnerable and open about emotions and feelings is seen as being weak]
He is a leader but not of his life
Because the fears he feels are not for his kind
Tangled up in an enigma he calls living
[Life starts to become the mixed-up puzzle pieces that’s hard to solve]
But NO… No. He is so strong, so powerful he can stop his fears
He knows that
Because those are also his father’s and friends’ ordeals
He is solid and not soft
[Family members and friends are often seen as the template for what a person wants to be; seeing them go through the same things and suffer through it, makes it seem acceptable to not speak out for one’s own issues.]
He is a man
From what they heard, he was perfectly fine
A strong man like him could never land on the hind
But in the darkness of the night
It is him who like a feather from the raven’s back
Falls gently and is blown off into the wind
[Being alone is when the emotions and feelings buried down come back and hurts the most.]
He was a man
He was a man
He was a man
[This is repeated three times, because the phrase “He is a man” is mentioned three times in the poem]
But he no longer IS…
[The social norms and stereotypes often suffocate and do not allow one to just “be” and speak out about their issues]
Spoken Version of “He is a Man”
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