Hello dear poets. This is Mish bringing you today’s Poetics in the pub.
With winter soon bidding us farewell, we curiously become caught up in the ritual of “spring cleaning”. I say curiously as I often wonder what it is about the season that demands so much more attention to detail. Did the dirt hibernate too? Nevertheless, I find myself sifting through old bills, hauling off clothing to the nearest thrift store and looking for new ways to organize with limited closet space. For me the most difficult part of it all is the process of purging. What do I keep and why? Will I ever use it? But then there are those special mementos, those dusty treasures we will never part with. I think we all have them….at least one.
W.D. Snodgrass gives us his version here…
Sorting out letters and piles of my old
Canceled checks, old clippings, and yellow note cards
That meant something once, I happened to find
Your picture. That picture. I stopped there cold,
Like a man raking piles of dead leaves in his yard
Who has turned up a severed hand.
Still, that first second, I was glad: you stand
Just as you stood – shy, delicate, slender,
In that long gown of green lace netting and daisies
That you wore to our first dance. The sight of you stunned
Us all. Well, our needs were different, then,
And our ideals came easy.
Then through the war and those two long years
Overseas, the Japanese dead in their shacks
Among dishes, dolls, and lost shoes; I carried
This glimpse of you, there, to choke down my fear,
Prove it had been, that it might come back.
That was before we got married.
–Before we drained out one another’s force
With lies, self-denial, unspoken regret
And the sick eyes that blame; before the divorce
And the treachery. Say it, before we met. Still,
I put back your picture. Someday, in due course,
I will find that it’s still there.
Today I am asking you to write a poem about one memento. You may use a souvenir from your travels, a photo, a keepsake from a special moment or event, perhaps a small token that is dear to your heart. Let it channel the emotion and significance that it holds for you. Give us a little piece of your past, a glimpse of who you are. If you find this perspective too personal, feel free to use a fictitious memento and/or voice.
- Write a poem inspired by a memento and post it to your blog
- Click on “Mr. Linky” below and enter your name and direct link to your poem
- Drop in the pub to say hello
- Read and comment on other people’s work
- Share via your favorite social media platforms