I love the sound of this word as I speak it.
For me it does not evoke sadness as much as curiosity. I have a strong sense of wonder about the world and our place in it. The word poignant suggests a duality; a bitter-sweet quality perhaps of the reality found in the passage of time. I can almost smell the emotion found in this word. It is the scent of an old homestead, a field at the end of summer, sunset on a beach.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story of poignancy. It is one of the few books that I have read more than once. I have watched the film of the same title starring Gregory Peck many times and each time I come away wondering about the yin and yang of life. Seen through the eyes of young Scout the world is a curious and wonderful place while under the protective embrace of her father Atticus Finch. Yet as the story unfolds there is a discomfiting feeling that makes one draw in the covers closer. I wonder can the light and the dark aspects of life co-exist in harmony. Do we need to see the dark before appreciating the light? Poignancy can bring me to a place emotionally where I feel I can clear my attic of stored up thoughts and feelings.
In the sixties there was a series on television called Mr. Novak. It was about a high school teacher played by James Franciscus. His character was an English/Drama educator, as I recall. During one of the episodes he gave his students an assignment to tell a story that would define the word pathos. One of his students wrote of her grandfather who was nearing the end of his life. In her story, she described him as a collector. Today we may conclude that he was a hoarder. When he died she found herself in his attic space, helping her parents sort through his stuff. She came across several large balls of twine that had been wound using knotted pieces of assorted string of variable length. Near this collection she found a shoe box filled with smaller bits of string. On the lid of the box, in careful printing, was the label, ‘Pieces too small to save’.
I remember weeping over this scene as I watched the program. It taught me, even at such an early age, of the power of drama and that there are two sides to this gold coin of life.
Some days, weather wise, the sky is a bright blue. But most days the sky is cloudy or overcast, maybe even looking poignant. When I was married to my bride on the beach of a Caribbean Island the sky was a creamy white colour. It was a moving ceremony and afterwards we lingered by the surf edge as a photographer recorded our bliss. We were touched by the circumstances that had brought us together.
We reflected on the meaning of time, us two, holding hands, barefoot in the sand.