Chanie Gorkin’s poem “Worst Day Ever?” can be read two ways…
By: M. Jomolca
We’ve often heard others and ourselves quoted the old adage: “perception is everything”, as it pertains to the way we choose to view our circumstances. Similarly, from as early as our primary school years, we begin to learn how to apply the “glass half-full, half-empty” concept in our lives.
Life coach, motivational speaker – John C. Maxwell, interpreted it as – “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure”, while singer/song-writer – Jon Bon Jovi, interjects that “miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” Yet, it is a simple, and seemingly basic poem written by a Brooklyn, 11th grader that has inspired a double-take to how many of us cherry-pick that which we view and identify as “half-full and half-empty”.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has watched one of its daughters shoot to international fame over the course of a week.
It all started when Chanie Gorkin, who is apparently an 11th grader at Beth Rivkah High School in Crown Heights, submitted a clever poem called “Worst Day Ever?” to Poetry Nation.
The all-inspired, (and inspiring) rhyme which reads:
“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 attained
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
Today was a very good day
Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
And see what I really feel about my day.”
… quickly made its way across the Atlantic, after the poetry site posted Gorkin’s submission online.
Mashable reports that London resident Ronnie Joice “spotted the poem tacked to the wall of a bar in North London,” then posted it to social media.
Her piece, though gives the perception of “gloom and doom”, initially has since become a viral sensation, as cleverly inspiring!
Gorkin’s brother, Shimon, posted a news story about his sister’s poem on Facebook. “That’s my sister!” he wrote. (Gorkin herself does not appear to have a Facebook account, likely because her all-girls school doesn’t allow it.)
“So, my daughter Chanie wrote this poem last fall as a school assignment and submitted it to Poetry Nation,” wrote her dad, Baruch, in a post of his own. “In the last few days the thing went totally viral, apparently after being pinned up on a wall of a [London] bar… “
Gorkin has been mentioned in quite a few Crown Heights newsletters and announcements over the years, and her creativity seems to have amassed a fan base within her own community, as well.
Salvador Litvak, who blogs as The Accidental Talmudist, calls the poem a “spectacular meditation by Chanie Gorkin of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.”
We’ve reached out to Gorkin and her family to see how they’re handling all this love and admiration flooding in from around the world.