A Mouthful of Fi

This has been a weird year for me. I am a novel lover. Narratives. Strictly prose. But this year I decided to get my head out of my ass and read more poetry because if I survived (and liked) Shakespeare in high school, then I should be able to survive something new.

By the way, I cheated myself out of a novel for this Reading Decathlon. I guess Dostoevsky left me in a state of “luxurious inertia.” So I went back to my 2016 default of diving into poetry and I read Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine Von Radics.

Basically I read poetry looking for Ni (or truth). I appreciate the art of Fi, the expression of it but if it’s purely personal (I’m looking at you To all the Dogs I’ve Kissed by Trisha Mateer which is all about ex boyfriends) I appreciate it a lot less. Here’s why.

I personally interpret Fi in two ways: the Fi in which one can relate to (most likely because I’ve experienced something like it) and the Fi in which you cannot relate to (the kind that is separate and purely the authors). In the second case, since I cannot relate…. I can only empathize. Empathize for a poem or two, yes. I can do that.

But if I am immersed in a sea of Fi (one that I cannot take any personal meaning from #Ni), I start using Fe instead. I’m using Fe while reading a book. I’m actively empathizing while reading. If you read my other blog post about tips on how I read, I am an active reader. I try to imagine the world that the author is trying to create.

In poetry, I am actively engaged in the feelings the author is trying to create, thus as much as I want to be objective, I start absorbing the feelings of the author after the 5th poem or so.

And this is what I absorbed while reading a Mouthful of Forevers.

  • She annoyed me terribly with the first poem because she went to a therapist but refuses to listen because “she wanted to continue to be wrong.” This annoyed me because it reminds me of friends who continuously ask help for the same problem but do not do anything to actually change it. They just want you there to complain and I absorb their feelings, give advice and watch nothing happen.
  • She treats her present boyfriends terribly because she is hung up on her old ones.
  • She remembers the men who have treated her badly (and she kinda likes it?) and she remembers the men who treated her well… and pitied them for loving her.
  • She constantly thinks people will leave her (maybe they do).
  • She has so many feelings she scares her lovers (who are maybe sensors if they tell her to go home, or weak feelers). If they are also feelers, she pities that they have to deal with her
  • She is vindictive and thinks that people are out to get her.
  • She wrote a poem about Kim Kardashian which I actually liked because it’s about a girl who hustles to get what she wants and didn’t give a shit about what people thought about her (maybe she should also learn that lesson too? maybe she has already?)
  • Also love the poem she wrote about Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov because I do wonder: how did Lolita feel? (Also makes me want to read it, even though I have a feeling I’ll be offended… and the fact that it will offend me means it’s good).

All in all, I personally liked 3 poems. Here’s one.

It’s Just So Strange

He used to love me,

and now

he’s just a stranger

who happens to know

all my secrets.

Because love is weird like that. We leave parts of ourselves in people we leave behind.

These are quotes that stuck out to me.

  • “Drowning people often believe that if they grab hold of someone else they can be saved, but that just makes you both sink faster.”
  • “I am 22 and crying because this new set of promises wants to kiss me, and I still taste like betrayal.”
  • “You break the hearts
    of better people
    who get in your way.”
  • “In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages.”

It stuck out to me because of the strong Fi in them. It’s the kind of Fi that makes me push away because it’s so personal that I feel like I know this person and it’s like they know what is wrong but they continue to hurt themselves over this. They don’t want to change. It’s frustrating.

What can you take this book? Read this if…

  • You went through a bad breakup and you’re reliving all those small moments that won’t go away.
  • You’re reminiscing about past relationships.
  • You have a jaded perspective on love at the moment. (Love can be so angsty.)

What did I take from this book?

The author may be an INFP/ENFP, though I’m leaning toward ENFP. Why? Because xSFPs have more expressive metaphors on love. They are able to describe it through the lens of Se. I saw the author describing love mostly through Si, Te and of course… Fi.

Would I read it again? Nah.

Until tomorrow! (If I’m up for it, been slackin’ lately).


4 thoughts on “A Mouthful of Fi

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED hearing all your findings! I loved how you were able to selectively empathize with some of the author’s work but not her other parts.

    On the note of Fi it is a mysterious sea of wonder to me. I’m not good at using it but novels help bring it out. What are some ways you see Si and Te used versus Se?

    Good post!


    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your input! 🙂

      Hmmm all of these functions are relatively weak in my personality type, but this is the way I recognize these functions within her poetry.

      Si – I see the author refer to past relationships/moments with a deep sense of regret or longing. Somehow, the past paints a more beautiful picture for them than the present. There is an idealization of memories that can no longer be grasped.

      Te – My interpretation of this function is “competitiveness” in terms of standards. In poetry, I see Te a lot less than in prose (more likely the author will express in Fi thus suppressing Te) but when I do it’s in the context of how a relationship/moment should be by the standards of Te. It sometimes addresses how a friend/significant other has wronged them and how that said person should have handled that situation instead.

      Se – I am personally partial to xSFP poetry. I find that they use Se to describe an emotion accurately. Their metaphors on love are less mystical/mysterious and more direct. Their style is less between the lines and more within the meaning of the words itself.

      I hope this helps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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