How To Learn by Dana Sheehy

Why is it that I feel so blue?

I am trying my hardest, 

thinking of others,

And still it’s like 

I just can’t pass a green light, 


Why do I feel so far from my daughter?

I call her everyday,

I go over to her home and play,

Damn, yes, these circumstances 

make me need to pray.

I am here 

living with other people, 

They say they like me, 

saying it idle.

Then why is it 

that when I turn my back, 

The people around me 

speak about others, 

and lack.

I once heard 

that if I can count 

the number of friends 

on one hand, 

I am a lucky woman 

amongst the land.

I now know 

this to be true,

For if I can count 

one friend, 

I will not turn blue.

The women I live with 

curse and shout,

Moving amongst each other, 

as if they belong with cows.

They eat so fast, 

they beg each other,

Thinking nicely of each other, 

well whatever of their mother?

So how can I 

be happy living here?

How do you make friends 

with people 

that stop and stare?

Do I simply forgive

 the shoutings 

of the days?

For I will not 


and swear everyday.

We are all here 

to learn better ways.

We come from different places 

and define better days,


I will not tell others 

how to speak 

and how to teach.

Yet I will learn from others 

based on what to do

 and what not to do, 

when watching others 

behave differently.

Analysis of the Poem

The author is sad at the beginning of the poem, feeling she is in a state of being where she tries her hardest in life yet is still unable to make herself happy.  

In addition, the people that she lives with are people she is unable to befriend due to the people’s inability to say nice things about the people in the house.  

The author notes it is hard to find friends in life, and this is accurately noted in the poem, in the fourth verse.  She continues in the poem giving her critique of the women she lives with by observing their demeanor, and it is accurately portrayed in the poem, in the fifth verse.  

The author questions how she is supposed to learn within her atmosphere in the sixth verse.  

Moving forward, and most importantly, the author attempts to portray that she will learn from everyone equally by observing others then deciphering what to do and what not to do.

About the author

Other works by the same author

How to Learn is another Dana Sheehy’s poem of disillusionment underscoring the view that poetry can do some philosophy too. 

Share Protection Status
Scroll to Top