I’d Rather Be Alone

And what of loneliness,” you ask.

And I say, “what about it?”

What does it even mean?

Does being in a room alone,

avoiding contact,

no conversation,

few, if any, friends,

do these equal loneliness?

And what is the cure?

Taking in the company,

of a boring mind,

to while away the hours,

in a numbing drone,

with some small, weak,

lacking brain,

incapable of,

a unique thought?

Thank you but,

I’d rather be alone.

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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on March 5, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 102 Comments.

  1. And what is the difference between loneliness and solitude? Is loneliness self-induced while solitude is peaceful bliss? You’ve posted another provactive poem. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Tio! You raise a good question and one that I hadn’t seriously considered when writing this. Solitude can be good for anyone but loneliness can be crushing. I’ve always enjoyed solitude when it was possible. Loneliness…not so much.

    • At the intersection of Loneliness and Solitude is a Mobius strip where the letter o in each word circulates and the letter i in each word nods and waves to the other as they pass. That there is a you in “solitUde” means that you can multiply yourself and thus not be lonely at all within that space. See you at the corner….

      • If I’m multiplied and then there are more of me than one, those around me likely won’t be able to stand it. lol I’ll see you at the corner. It’s great to meet you!

      • …what the devil, mlhe?? You make Escher even more puzzling. John, wherever you are in here (I’m no comment maestro, clearly..hope I’m typing in something like the correct oblong box….) I second that emotion. I am long since out of things to say, and of things to have interestingly said to me. If that is a proper sentence. Solitude is more than the poetic salve all the bland book titles suggest. It is conversation with the moment, and the moment is everything. g*d help me, I’ve become a book jacket.

        • Thanks, Jef! You chose the correct oblong box and your comments ring far truer than a book jacket. While it may be unhealthy to remain alone 100% of the time, there is still much to be gained from solitude. It is indeed a poetic salve but, as you suggest, far far more. A little (or a lot) alone time can help teach us things about ourselves we might not know otherwise. It’s great to meet you!

  2. I often think of loneliness and being alone, the complexities of my world doesn’t always invite others to join,sometimes in explaining all I get frustrated and much

  3. Your poem got me thinking, which got me writing. It’s no retort but it’s there, for my take.

  4. I often think of loneliness and being alone, the complexities of my world doesn’t always invite others to join,sometimes in explaining it all I get frustrated ,much
    rather be,this conception of friends lately has me in wonderment,I have lost so many to circumstance and situation as though I have some infectious disease.we live in this disposable world where anything now gets recycled may be I will get a replacement some time soon

    • Those of us who are introverted enjoy our alone time much more than others but there are times that being alone can also equal loneliness. Today’s society has turned so much to social media that it’s become far too easy to dispose of or recycle friends.

  5. Alone is one of my favorite states of being.

  6. You can be alone in a crowded room. Sometimes I like my own company. Writers/poets need alone time…quiet time.

    • Alone in a crowded room is one emotion I’ve always found to be totally debilitating. When I’m surrounded by people but feel like a wallflower I begin to think how powerless and alone I am to the point of real depression. Without alone time to think, recharge and generally just do what I have to do, I’m no good to anyone.

      • I can understand you feelings, John. Everything thinks of me as an extrovert. because I was a professional musician and singer for many years. If I need to be the center of attention, I can, but I definitely need my true introvert replenishing time. My creativity would starve if I had to be in limelight all the time and then I wouldn’t be me. You sound like a sensitive soul, John. That part of us that makes us sad is the same part of us that lets us love.

      • The feeling of loneliness I experience in the company of other people drives me into solitude where I never feel alone. One cause is when you are “out of step” with the surrounding culture – which I am. I feel happiest with the company of old people who are dying out. I identify with their culture and values, not the present ones. Perhaps partly an aspect of aging.

  7. As an introvert, I prize my alone time (which seems to lessen every passing year) to recharge the batteries.

    • I can relate as a fellow introvert. Without alone time I tend to shrink further and further into the background and eventually, though I’m surrounded by a crowd, I’m more alone than ever, and alone in the worst possible way.

  8. Ah but by projecting that the minds will be boring you are losing the potential to meet someone inspirational. It’s by taking those chances that we really shine

  9. There was a time when I used to shiver at the thought of being alone. But now I prefer to be left so 🙂 Very thoughtful and well written poem. It inspires me to write and at the same time makes me envious! (I wish I could write so well)

    • Thank you! Those moments alone can be good for anyone whether introvert or extrovert. i’m glad you liked the poem but absolutely don’t despair about your writing. Ever. If you have a life to write about, a passion to write and any opportunity to write, you will. Not only that but if you’ll begin pushing yourself to write daily it will become a habit you can’t break and you’ll begin to find your own unique style. Best of luck to you. It’s great to meet you!

  10. Being an introvert myself, this really sounds like what goes through in my mind every single day. Lovely piece. 🙂

  11. loneliness and solitude are very different. i love my solitude. loneliness is part of the game.

  12. We all have moments like these 🙂

  13. Ah…the constant challenge. What is alone and what do we really want to do about it.

  14. Nicely done! I have often pondered the issue and tried to explain it to those who cannot be alone ever. Aloneness is not the same as loneliness. All-one-ness.

    • The extroverts or social butterflies don’t understand the introverts and vice versa. We are opposing personalities. Alone is when I’m at my best or at the very least with one person whose company I enjoy. It’s great to meet you!

  15. Hey John, you practically describe my middle school years! :-b I really like it.

  16. Nice! Very!!!

    So there are guys like us who’d rather be alone than forced into shallow company!! 🙂

    If you’d fancy a read, I’d penned a similar piece called “Those Sometimes” last December…

  17. Awesome! Check out the video “Look Up” when you have a chance. 😊

  18. Very relatable. Do we then risk the disarray of a life of loneliness or sacrifice moments to the small talk for sake of company? Very well spoken, a very concise wondering.

    • Thank you, Evan. That’s a tough balance to strike between needed solitude and loneliness. I’ve had to choose loneliness on a few occasions just to get time alone. It’s great to meet you!

      • It’s very nice to meet you as well. And they seem to be such easily intertwined things, loneliness and solitude, one sometimes accompanying another. Do you find it totally necessary to interject solitude, though, or more often does it simply arrive from matter of circumstance? Are you naturally inhibited?

        • Solitude for me is a necessary part of my life. Crowds take too much energy. Being alone allows me to be relaxed, be myself and to clear my head – or possibly to write the next thought down.

  19. Writing is a healthy alternative when facing the darkness of silence. Being alone often times gives me a creative kick in the butt.

  20. I like the cascading rhythm, matches the story telling brilliantly.

    My fave lines are
    ‘Taking in the company,

    of a boring mind,

    to while away the hours,

    in a numbing drone,’

  21. This poem immediately stirred my own thoughts about being alone. It also ignited a really great dialog here.

  22. I’d rather be alone too. This is such a nice poem.:D

  23. Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you. Being alone is not lonely, being with a bore, is.

    • You’re welcome of course. Thank you for visiting and for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. You’ve said it perfectly! It’s great to meet you!

  24. Each has an important place in our lives. The variation of emotional needs and lessons learned from these states are necessary for maturation of the mind and soul. Excellent work! Thanks!

    • Thank you! Each little phrase, each poem is a piece of who the writer is regardless of how well it’s constructed or how it fits into any genre mold. Sometimes writing is about letting go of a memory, a loss, a pain and sometimes it’s a matter of embracing ourselves or celebrating achievements or great moments. I’ve written good (subjectively considered good) and bad (also subjectively graded) and everything in between but each poem is another step another small part of me. Thanks for the comment. It’s great to meet you!

  25. Favorite quote of mine, “my misery hates your company”. You’ve got talent and brains. I have few of either, but I believe I figured out how to follow your posts.

    • Thank you, Nicholas. That’s a great quote, I agree but I have to disagree about your other statement. Everyone has talent and brains. Everyone. Each person has unique abilities that others don’t possess or that others possess but not in such great quantities. As for brains – IQ is overrated and brainpower is a nice way for the average person to say they’re over-working their minds (a good exercise for all of us on occasion). Never sell yourself short. Thanks for commenting and for following. It’s great to meet you!

  26. I can very well relate to the theme of the poem…keep writing

  27. I can’t think of how many times I have been at some social function just like this and think the last two lines to myself. I would probably start a huge campaign for the greater appreciation and understanding of introverts, but, you know…I’m introverted…

    • Thank you! I know the feeling! lol If we introverts felt like being out in public among the throngs we could start a “Leave the Introverts Alone” campaign. 🙂

  28. Hi Mr. White, I enjoyed this posting. Thank you for reading my blog. Steven Gallanter

  29. Definitely. The crashing boredom of the company of most other people inoculated me against loneliness for life. May I reblog?

  30. “My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company” -Friedrich Nietzche

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