In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Kaveh Akbar is on the line.
I’ve been in love with and dating a man for almost a year now. He’s vibrant and interesting in all of the ways that I admire—he pursues old hobbies, constantly seeks out new ones, and curates his time to be the best version of himself he can be. But oftentimes, this leaves me feeling left in the dust, like I am less than him, like I am a shadow in the wake of his constant transformation into a better self. Even when we pursue our mutual hobbies and interests together (even ones I know I’m quite good at), he somehow manages to surpass me in skill, making my achievements feel lesser. Even though I love him so much, every time I see him I end up feeling small. Do you have a poem for this feeling of love that dwarfs you?
At the Pedestal’s Base