I have many names by which I am known. I am ‘Christy’ to most people, ‘Chris’ to my family, and ‘Christyb’ to screens on which I post comments online. Give or take one or two posts of ‘Christybelle’ to mix up the fruit bowl of names. Yet whatever name I choose, my tastes and preferences remain the same. Coated in cement. Think of caramel coating to a candy apple. It ain’t going nowhere.

Now, with better grammatical form than my last sentence, I introduce A.R. Ammon’s poem:


The Drift Begins

I’ve pressed so

far away from

my desire that

if you asked

me what I

want I would,

accepting the harmonious

completion of the

drift, say annihilation,


© 1996 A.R. Ammons

The voice of the poem is relatable. “I” no longer do what “I” want to do. Picture getting caught up in hustle of the day, days turning to weeks, to months. caught up in efforts to make others happy without consideration of one’s own interests and desires.

One likely becomes uncertain in his or her decisions as the sense of self diminishes to the point of “annihilation.” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines annihilation as ‘to cause to cease to exist.’

Imagine the “drift” Ammons describes from being authentic, expressing one’s true self, to becoming a cardboard image searching for acceptance.

Can you picture the cardboard image? Have you ever lost your own sense of self?


24 thoughts on “Authentication

  1. Raymond Alexander Kukkee

    Yes, Christy.B….lost a sense of self, —and lost any sense of direction at times too, “harmonious completion of the drift” –a piece of cardboard drifting in the current, into an ‘eddie’, round and round……until waterlogged, sinking to annihilation–and rebirth.


    1. christyb Post author

      Raymond, I like that you end your comment with the word ‘rebirth.’ And rebirth does not necessarily refer to losing one’s life. It could be a spiritual awakening, an ‘aha’ moment, or a tough situation that leads to a change in perspective. Thanks for sharing and stopping by.


  2. Marc Phillippe Babineau

    A great insight into a poem that screams of societal mandates for who people are supposed to be. To be pressed away from your desires to the point that you no longer know what those desires are would be heart-wrenching to me – I love desire, desire it actually.

    Yet in your cornucopia of names, you left out my fav… CB!

    Another great poet post! Time for one about you, no?


    1. christyb Post author

      Thanks Marc, always nice to get your feedback! Ah yes CB my new nickname. I give you full credit for that one my friend. You request I begin to unravel CB in the next post? I like the idea of being guided for subjects by my readers, point taken.


  3. Red

    I see in the “I’ve pressed” (as opposed to “I’ve been pressed”) the writer has gone astray of the initial “desire”. I see what is lost is not the sense of self, but of sight of a goal, once laudable and worth seeking, now reduced to a footnote of life gone by. The writer has lost faith in what he originally envisioned as the lifelong goal upon which he had built his identity.

    Now, if asked, he chooses annihilation over the thought of beginning anew with the choice and pursuit of something new. For his life is complete in its pursuit of the desire even if left unattained.

    In “probably” I see the glimmer of faith, if left to his own devices, he would again pursue the desire.

    Just my twist of lemon,


    1. christyb Post author

      How wonderful that one poem can be interpreted in multiple ways. Individuals see the same written lines in different ways. Lovely! I am reminded that many people later in life explain that they are disapointed that not all of their goals have been realized. Thanks for bringing your twist of the lemon to the table Red!


  4. Sue Dreamwalker

    Hello Christyb. ” The Drift Begins” …. Many are drifting at this time within the Sea of Consciousness… it is however a time when many will make a raft in conscious thought as the drift wood will link together.. And the annihilation will be of control.. As this Earth may spin for a time in apparent uncontrolled circumstances.. But Order will resume .. for out of the Chaos comes clarity..
    You have a beautiful spirit.. Blessings this New Year Christyb.


    1. christyb Post author

      Thank-you Sue for stopping by. How poetic your words are, they flow like the waters of which you talk. Yes we know of Order because we know of Chaos, one rises out of the other. Happy New Year to you,


    1. christyb Post author

      Yes Ammons offers levels of analysis that I can pick away at like fine delicacies. Thanks Thomas for stopping by, it is nice to hear from you.


  5. hilal achmar

    Dear Christy….
    1. Make others happy without consideration of one’s own interests and desires. Yes. Indeed, we often want to make other people happy, or “good”, without considering them “need”. Such as giving money to people who will sink ….. 🙂
    2. Annihilation. Was received with forced, reduction, or loss psychological senses. Eyes no longer “see”, the ear is no longer “hear”, the heartr is no longer able to distinguish between “Right or Wrong”. Then shortness of breath …… 🙂
    3. Lost Sense of Self. First it was the loss of orientation to “time”, “direction”, and most detrimental, ultimately, loss of orientation in “meaningful life goals”. Like the senile …… 🙂
    It feels, it’s hard to be whole human beings ……. 🙂


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Your comment has so many layers… Yes, being a human being can certainly be a complex notion. Perhaps just finding oneself is taking up much of peoples’ days… Thank-you for your comment. Sending smiles 🙂


  6. Aquileana

    Hello Christy;

    How I loved the way you introduced yourself above here, sweet friend…

    “I am ‘Christy’ to most people, ‘Chris’ to my family, and ‘Christyb’ to screens on which I post comments online”.

    For me you are Bunny and/or Sparkly Rock whose proper name is Christy Birmingham…

    It is so nice to see your first shy post here on Poetic Parfait…
    Aww. you seem quite shy here 🙂

    I wanted to share a couple of things with you and decided to post them here…

    There they go

    A song by a cuban singer called Silvio Rodríguez… he talks about Melancholy.

    ►Oh Melancolía

    And below here in this blog post you can check the lyrics in both spanish & english:

    ►Lyrics Spanish /English “Oh Melancolía”/”Oh Melancholy”

    Finally, a related image of the Goddess Melancholy, by artist Albrecht Dürer


    I wish you like the song, as for me it is a very special one…

    Sending you love!

    Aquileana 🙂


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      The song is so beautiful, even if I did not have the lyrics to read from as I listen. It’s soft and melancholy.. The lyrics have depth and this is my favorite part:
      “Today, my daydream is like moss on the curbstone, sketching the depths of love, melancholy, subtle, pale, sky.”

      I do hope you replace sadness today with the love that is all around you. Enjoy the day, smile and continue to bring your thought-provoking ways to the world! You are a dear friend.

      Also, I re-read my post and smiled at how it was one of my first blog writings. How this site has come so far since then! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


      1. Aquileana

        Hi Christy;

        Don´t you believe that Melancholy is a common thread in poetry, literature and Arts in general?

        French symbolist poets such as Baudelaire also called it “Spléen” and they considered that Melancholy was the goddess of poetic creation…

        By the way I wasn´t sad when I wrote this comment but I do sometimes fell gloomy or melancholic, and the weirdest thing is that I do not know why I feel blue… It is like a deep inner feeling that suddenly comes and then vanishes… Does it happen to you as a poet?. I guess it does…

        Sending you love; Aquileana 🙂

        PS: I am adding a piece by Chopin here below… Just want to see if you can beat Melancholy after listening to it 😉


        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Yes, melancholy is a theme that runs through poetry and music. Sometimes I enter a sad frame of mind as I write poems to bring out emotional messages I have in mind to share. If I take on the feeling then I am best able to explain it in poetic form.
          Here’s to Keats, Chopin and Amalia xx


  7. Aquileana

    ►Hello Christy (The Girl From Blue)►;

    Yes, I agree with you …

    I believe that melancholy is a sort of metaphysical feeling born of essential human questions (death, time that flows, love, i.e)…

    Going further I would say that melancholy is maybe caused as an anguish effect because of being unable to answer those essential questions…

    Poetry, based just on feelings, is the most genuine way to try to unravel the hidden mysteries of the human soul …

    I´ve told you about a poem by John Keats before… “Ode on Melancholy”…
    And as I have promised it to post it here… Well, it is a still debt…
    But I am now paying you with poetry (what else!)


    ►Poem “Ode on Melancholy”. By John Keats►

    No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
    Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
    Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
    By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
    Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
    Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
    Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
    A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
    For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
    And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

    But when the melancholy fit shall fall
    Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
    That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
    And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
    Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
    Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
    Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
    Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
    Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
    And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

    She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
    And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
    Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
    Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
    Ay, in the very temple of Delight
    Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
    Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
    Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
    His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
    And be among her cloudy trophies hung.



    ►Summary/Themes: “Ode on Melancholy”. By John Keats►

    The only ode not to be written in the first person, “Melancholy” finds the speaker admonishing or advising sufferers of melancholy in the imperative mode; presumably his advice is the result of his own hard-won experience.

    The three stanzas of the “Ode on Melancholy” address the subject of how to cope with sadness. The first stanza tells what not to do: The sufferer should not “go to Lethe,” or forget their sadness (Lethe is the river of forgetfulness in Greek mythology); should not commit suicide (nightshade, “the ruby grape of Prosperpine,” is a poison; Prosperpine is the mythological queen of the underworld); and should not become obsessed with objects of death and misery (the beetle, the death-moth, and the owl).

    In the second stanza, the speaker tells the sufferer what to do in place of the things he forbade in the first stanza. When afflicted with “the melancholy fit,” the sufferer should instead overwhelm his sorrow with natural beauty, glutting it on the morning rose, “on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,” or in the eyes of his beloved.

    In the third stanza, the speaker explains these injunctions, saying that pleasure and pain are inextricably linked: Beauty must die, joy is fleeting, and the flower of pleasure is forever “turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips.”

    Besides, the speaker offers his most convincing synthesis of melancholy and joy, in a way that takes in the tragic mortality of life but lets him remain connected to his own experience. It is precisely the fact that joy will come to an end that makes the experience of joy such a ravishing one; the fact that beauty dies makes the experience of beauty sharper and more thrilling.



    ►Pinterest Images►


    Well, CB, I wish you enjoy Keats´s poem and its analysis.

    That´s all for now ( Until our next poetry meeting !)

    Hugs to you & sleep tight my friend ;



    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Keats is amazing in his words and the emotions he is able to evoke. I’m glad we agree to love his words and try our best to understand the melancholy tones. I wish you a wonderful day ahead, dear friend! May your soul shine brightly for all around you x


      1. Aquileana


        I wish you a great evening & night ahead too…
        You are both: a Sparkly Rock & (ampersand !!!) a Bright Star…

        I am glad you enjoyed Keats´s poem even when the topic is rather sad… In spite of it, we still love Keats, don´t we?.


        Aquileana 🙂



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