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A poem written for a high school assignment about a bad day managed to make its way across the pond and then go viral.
After a bad day, Londoner Ronnie Joice saw the poem “Worst Day Ever?” on a bar wall and felt so inspired that he decided to share it with his followers on Twitter. Soon it seemed as if everyone was sharing it.
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be obtained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that
Today was a good day
Now read from the bottom to top.
Seventeen-year-old Chanie Gorkin — a soon-to-be 12th grader in Brooklyn — wrote the poem last year and based its hopeful outlook on Hasidic philosophy. While her poem made it to the semi-final round of a contest on poetrynation.com, Chanie had no idea that her poem could ever reach so many people.
“She is also very overwhelmed because nothing like this has ever happened to any of us in the family,” Dena Gorkin, Chanie’s mom, told TODAY.com.
Chanie is volunteering at a summer camp and won’t return until the end of August. She’s unavailable for comment, but her mom is happy to chat.
“What amused us the most is that she’s not even old enough to get into a bar” but her poem is in one, Gorkin says.
Poetry is a tradition in the Gorkin family. Dena Gorkin says her mother started writing poems for family members and Gorkin followed. She remembers winning a poetry contest when she was 12. But her entire family enjoys it. If something funny happens or there’s a celebration, it’s not unusual for her, her husband, or one of her six kids to write a poem as a gift for another. Chanie certainly inherited some major talent.
“I think it took her about an hour. She showed it to me and I was like ‘What? You just whipped this up like a recipe.’ I was pretty impressed,” Gorkin says.
Even though the assignment required the students to focus on the worst day ever, Chanie took inspiration from Hasidic teachings and decided to focus on the good that’s inherent in the bad. While Gorkin says that some read the poem as a little too “Pollyannaish,” she says her daughter understands that life can be complex. But the poem speaks to the times in life when a positive outlook can make a difference (as it clearly did with Joice).
“We all hope that the poem will continue to bring good into the world, that people will be inspired to pay the good forward,” says Gorkin.