Poetry Month Challenges Day 19: Pleasure and Patience

Pleasure in Patience by Maria L. Berg 2023

Pleasure & Patience

Pleasure is the state or feeling of enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking; gratification; delight. In Civilization and Its Discontents Freud says that “the purpose of life is simply the programme of the pleasure principle.” The pleasure principle is Freud’s belief that man’s activity develops toward the absence of pain and to experience strong feelings of pleasure. He says:

“What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree, and it is from its nature only possible as an episodic phenomenon. When any situation that is desired by the pleasure principle is prolonged, it only produces a feeling of mild contentment. We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things. Thus our possibilities of happiness are already restricted by our constitution.”

Sigmund Freud

In other words, we live for pleasure, but find the most pleasure in things denied us. He also seems to say that patience dampens pleasure’s potency. Patience is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence; the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Today’s Images

My original idea of using the tri-pod and long exposure to represent patience, and glints of light on the water as pleasure wasn’t working because the sun went behind the clouds and I ran out of patience. I thought I would try to replicate my idea in the mirrorworld using a fan, but my shapes were distorting and the lights were too bright at the long shutter settings, and I lost patience. So I thought of when I have found pleasure in patience, and thought of the panoramic setting: it takes patience to make it work, but the results give me pleasure.

Patience in Pleasure by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to cast your mind back to your own childhood and write a poem about something that scared you – or was used to scare you – and which still haunts you (if only a little bit) today.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to write a taste poem.

The Poem

The Patient Boogeyman

The present pleasure of dark chocolate peppermint bark
takes patience to savor—not bite into, chomp down,
and grab another— to let it sit with the flavors,
letting them melt in my mouth like the large bag
of M&Ms I used to eat while reading a novel
in the tall antique bed with the small pink
rose patterned canopy, so tall I had to run
and jump to get in, so tall that the scary
man had plenty of room to wait under there
at night until I needed to go to the bathroom;
I would wait and wait, knowing the second
my ankle dangled low enough, his hand would
dart out and grab it, and yank me under;
not that I was afraid of the space under the bed,
I liked it down there during the day,
but the scary man only waited there
when it was dark, really dark and cold,
and came from the place of dark things.
Sometimes in the dead of night,
he still reaches from the darkest corner,
and I want to scream, but instead
I turn on all the lights and savor
some dark chocolate peppermint bark.

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