Ode to the Out-of-Hand Character

There’s been something about you since the day you first appeared
Your metaphorical birth sparking widespread interest
Raising eyebrows, giving Professors topic ideas to hurl at bored students
Fostering that little flame of rebellion in your author
That says “I can make something no one has seen. I can awe creation.”

You had a lock on this whole character development thing
It was the rest of your world that couldn’t keep up, lagging
Like a bogged down internet connection, throwing problems at you
You could solve in your sleep. Forcing other characters to act against reason,
To provide an excuse why you should have any pain at all.

And it was that, your resistance to pain, your apparent invulnerability
That made you a target, that goaded your author into raining untold hell.
It was your strength, your superiority to fellow inhabitants of your particular story,
That made it impossible for you to outlive them. Your author was too clever
Devising an uncontrollable force like you, an intelligence not sustainable even by its creator.

So you die, alone, stripped of your humanity, your love, while inferior personalities live on
While the story rambles past your grave, narrative desperate to make everyone forget
While dull minds are touted as genius and audiences move on to new obsessions
You are thrown on the mercies of fan authors, one in a thousand returning you to former glories
One in a million with to skill to handle fire, to come out less charred than the one who gave you life.

Reaction to TSWGO

Chances are you’ve heard of The Fault in Our Stars. The book was #1 on the NYT bestseller list for seven consecutive weeks and the movie grossed over $266 million worldwide. Also, it was advertised practically everywhere in the States.

It’s less likely you’ve read, or even heard of, the book by the girl to whom The Fault in Our Stars is dedicated.

While I love TFIOS and have already written poems about the many things its author, John Green, has done, I wanted to shine a spotlight on the story that in many ways allowed TFIOS to exist- the story of Esther Earl.

This Star Won’t Go Out

I first heard of her in a YouTube video
I know, cliché
More so when it wasn’t even her own

In the video, a man told his story of meeting her
A man who himself inspired hundreds of thousands
Inspired by a teenage girl to write a story
While not being completely hers
Was much less his
And that was the important part

But the story I’m interested is completely hers

Her handwriting, her notes to her parents
Telling them she knew it had to be hard to be them
To have a kid with cancer
And that the truth is icky

Her chats with her internet friends
A group of teenage girls
Who, long after she is gone, help moderate a project
that raises over a million dollars for charity

Her activism
Not for cancer charities
For the Harry Potter Alliance
Books and equality for all

Her hand-drawn smileys
Her declaration of intent
To cut her hair short and anglefied (because that’s a word)
And dye it orange with purple streaks
Her follow-through and attached photographic proof

Her book
Edited together after she died
By her parents
Who included her journals, letters, thoughts from friends
And set up a foundation
Not in her name but in the name of the hope she represented
That this light, this star
Will never go out

Note: Learn more about the book and the foundation here.