Narrative Analysis of “Thriving Fire Musings of a Poet’s Odyssey”

Understand why the fire within my spirit continues to spark.

Hello, all! Months ago, I returned to working on putting together an anthology of several of my old poems, coupled together with a few new ones.

I decided to title it “Thriving Fire” because, in some kind of way, I see myself in this state of constantly dying and dying, only to return to life, like the rekindled flame of a phoenix. Thus, after each death, I’ve come back, thriving to get something out of my life.

I called this my odyssey because, in one way, life is literally just a journey. Life is different for everyone. No one should feel overwhelmed and pressured into reaching an end goal, because I feel like there is no end goal. Life’s just an individual’s constant striving to make something out of this crazy world.

And so, I present you with my written narrative analyzing the entirety of my book.

In reading Patrick’s latest anthology, “Thriving Fire: Musings of a Poet’s Odyssey,” the reader will find that the poems as a whole, range across an unflinching self-dubiousness and uncertainty that takes reign over the narrator’s life.

“I have lived in a suit of denial, to escape the pain that decors me, / wondering if I might move on from this Life, and faceless journeys to come”Subsequently (poem), Patrick J. Derilus

The narrator, frightened of the mundane absurdities of life and human existence, is often what causes him to alienate himself from the world. This alienation is his attempt at escaping reality. The narrator describes entities to be “faceless” to mean that they are unknowable until they are seen, not yet experienced, unable to be described, and to some degree, unpredictable. Finding that the narrator feels that he cannot live in full confidence not knowing what will unfold with each day that passes, he is worried and dissatisfied. His character gives the reader an atmosphere of pessimistic calculation and apprehension.

Although he has had fleeting glimpses of having experienced a fulfilled life by his own definition of success and self-contentment, the narrator sees his future as foreshortened. He has thought ahead with a realistic perspective. He felt that it would be smart that he does not have children. He is certain that he would not want to bring a child into the world while he is already conscious, that he himself is not emotionally and financially stable enough to raise a child in the future.

He considers the idea of the white American dream to be self-destructive, capitalistic and corrosive enough to leave an individual devoid of their sense of meaning and purpose in life. He would somehow like to live without the coercive will of the dominant white society pressuring him to pursue a home, a car, have a wife and to bear children. These were previous aspirations he’s had albeit he was ingrained with antiquated ideals of white supremacist heteronormative capitalist patriarchy at a younger age; nevertheless, he’s reevaluated the institutional values of the white American dream and has found himself straying away from it. He assigns the white American dream to be nihilistic, and investigates the ideal with numerous, recurring questions:

“Do I want to live the white American dream? Or does the white American society, which has regulated racist, sexist, patriarchal, capitalist, and heteronormative practices for years, demand that I live up to its standards? Why should I be subjected to living these mundane customs? What do I want from my life before I die? What is there to strive for, other than being remembered as a literary? What is out there? What would there be for me to strive for, other than being a literary, which helps me cope with existing in this world? If I live long enough to reach these goals, what will they be, if I am to come up with something genuine to live for? What does it mean for me to be black and American in America?”

In spite of the melancholic and meditative atmosphere of this book, there are lighter pieces that give the reader glances of reaffirmation and motivation to the narrator himself, writers, artists, and the like:

“From solace in nature, write poems that move you / weaved through eloquent stanzas and verses that resonate to soothe you” — Meta-Inner (poem), Patrick J. Derilus

The narrator verses to the reader a selection of his meta-poems and meta-prose pieces as resonating incentives. Finding his pieces of a didactic nature to be helpful, it is his attempt in trying to call other artists to action to create for fun, to create for relaxation. He wants artists to move away from external distractions such as the Internet, people, environmental noise, the uncontrollable mess of thoughts running through their minds, urging them to find places distant from their societies to just create for their self-satisfaction, to feel comfortable in their art.

He thinks to himself,

“What do I truly want out of life? Not anyone else imposing what they want in life onto me, but what do I want? Seriously. I feel as if my will is willing not because I have been choosing to will myself to life, and existing in life. I feel like this will, which has been dragging my neck across life like an existential noose, is from the collective will of my loved ones, suggesting that if one gave up on their life, it would be considered a reprehensible solution. Though I have distanced myself away from my loved ones more than needed, I anticipate that they will dismiss my existential concerns and they will still have a strong, collective faith that I’ll get something out of life regardless of how I feel.” 

His character is portrayed as distraught, anxious, and tense in the existential sense of the word. Overall, he undoubtedly has the youthful spirit of an endearing old soul and a provocative insight that is inclusive to many readers.

The thriving fire is an element of continual reemergence that constantly enters and departs the cycle of birth, death, and revitalization. The odyssey is my journey. I am the thriving fire.

You can purchase Patrick’s book on,, or