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"To Be" is composed by Thai Nguyen Dang Khoa - an 11th grader of Le Hong Phong High school. He wrote this poem on the day participating the "Self-Leadership for Teens" course at PLEMS Education. 




If Allen Ginsberg were alive, I’d ask him

How he felt being an outlier

And made the outliers the main characters

To his own shows in the attic of his own world;

Like how buds of leaves bloom into different leaves,

Not quite different but certainly different.

Or like how no men see the moon at exactly the same angle,

No men view life exactly the same way,

No men are the same, anyway.

Then I’d ask a bird if he flies to feel released,

If the sky’s for lease, if a wind’s a breeze.

If his home the baking cosmo!

If his happiness the sounds of mornings!

If he wants to fly still

When the showers are calling him.

And to make sure he’d teach me to live,

I'll learn to fly.

Then I find courage to ask a living man: “What can I be –

A star or a contrail or a labyrinth or a tree?”

He replies: “Simply nothing.

You can’t be a thing if you ask yourself

What you can be. And not what you want to be.”

If that’s how it works then I want to be

Defined by the things I love.

Not the things I fear that I’m afraid of,

Not even my stories,

Just how I deal with my stories

And be me.

Then I can be whoever I want to be.


"I want to freely be an outlier in other's worlds, to be the main character of my world;

then be free like a bird, hot-hearted like a bird; defined by the things I love, by the

stories I love; and be whoever I love

To be."


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