Catch 22

A degree would earn her
a good income they told the
young woman. A government
bursary for books and fees,
savings from summer holiday jobs
to pay for living costs if she lived
in her parents’ house paying board.
All balanced neatly on the accounts.

Yet term time day by day was
harder than she could ever have
imagined as she sat in the study
cubicle silently reading, taking notes,
drafting essays, writing final copies,
while the promise shown in her
school days faded slowly away.

Study room silence allowed the
doors of the cupboard of her mind
stuffed full of memories past and
present to gape open. Memories
pouring out, disturbing, displacing
trains of thought needed to produce
logical reasoned expositions of facts
and ideas, proposals, solutions to
thoughtful complex questions.

A degree could help her to leave her
home. an obstacle to that degree.


Catch 22

10 thoughts on “Catch 22

      1. True enough, the goalposts for Captain Yosario and his fellows kept changing, for sure. Until in the end he died. It’s a long time since I read the book … nonetheless, enjoyed your poem and what’s in a title anyway? The phrase is often used. Like 1984.

        In a final episode, Catch-22 is described to Yossarian by an old woman recounting an act of violence by soldiers:[6][7]

        “Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”

        “What the hell are you talking about?” Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. “How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?”

        “The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. ‘Did we do anything wrong?’ they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. ‘Then why are you chasing us out?’ the girls said. ‘Catch 22,’ the men said. All they kept saying was ‘Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?”

        “Didn’t they show it to you?” Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. “Didn’t you even make them read it?”

        “They don’t have to show us Catch-22,” the old woman answered. “The law says they don’t have to.”

        “What law says they don’t have to?”

        ~ Wikipedia

        Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. It so often something small and unexpected that breaks the circle of stasis. On a computer it’s a tiny electronic component called a ‘boot-strapper’ (hence reboot or boot up a computer or device). ‘I think, therefore I am’ is all very well, but how do you get from that naval gazing to getting things done? In the boot-strapper it’s a human index finger pressing an on-button, and a simple instruction to go look up an even bigger set of instructions. For a young adult, it’s the parents nurturing the child, and the hard-wired instinct to refer to venture out with the childhood home and learn from the big wide world. Great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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