I am certain of
is that this
road less traveled has
been traveled by more suckers
than you think.
– For Everyone, Jason Reynolds
Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.
For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.
For Every One is the first book I’ve ever read by Jason Reynolds.
I always complain about poetry. It’s one of my least favorite forms of writing.
It’s not because I can’t find it beautiful, but as Jenn likes to say, I’m too literal. I don’t like to break down every single thing that I read. I love dynamic stories and having to think, but I’ve never enjoyed the structure of poems.
However, I picked up Reynolds For Every One when I was in a poor mood one day and began reading his note to the reader. I was moved by the note so much that I almost started crying in the book store. Now, this could have been because I was in an exceptionally bad mood, but I like to equate it to Reynolds really striking a cord with me.
For Every One is an anthem to dreamers.
As an adult, it’s easy to forget that we have dreams. Work and life take over and everything just becomes about surviving.
But Reynolds reminds the reader that dreaming is necessary. He describes dreams as whisper that if silenced would make life dull.
Reynolds manages to create a poem that hangs heavy on the readers heart because it’s not just relateable, but a reminder that in order to live a meaningful life we must dream.
In the end, I gave 5/5 stars to For Every One. Even my dislike of poetry couldn’t stop Reynolds from enchanting me.