After Despair expresses the expectation of a restful and satisfying night of sleep which, however,
is quickly opposed by dark thoughts of the end of life. The protagonist considers losing
the joys of life but finally drives away all thought of gloom with more positive resolution.
Format is four stanzas varying from thirteen to nineteen lines and is not rhymed.
Another Country consists of sixteen stanzas mostly of two quatrains rhymed AC, BD but
the first four are of six lines rhymed DF.
The protagonist considers how an unschooled generation can take over the skills of their
forebears when little regard has been paid to acquiring the necessary experience.
At their departure for another world, however, he is thrust into the necessity of abandoning
the carefree youth hitherto enjoyed and exchanging it for the duties of maturity.
When the time has come for him to render his account to his forebears in that other world,
he wonders whether he has left a legacy of achievement to those who, in turn, follow him.
Casting The Burden
Casting the Burden consists of four stanzas each of eight lines rhymed GH.
The protagonist has evidently suffered a bout of depression but has now regained control over
him- or herself sufficient to summon the strength to dismiss the burden it has placed over
He notes the cycle of renewal within nature and regrets that the despair still clinging to
him has not yet left. He takes command once more and, like an angry landlord, orders the
burden to depart with all its baggage that has weighed so heavily upon him. Having emerged
from the exhaustion of bearing the weight, he declares himself now fit to lead a happy
life and concludes with a decisive dismissal of a one-time friend who has outstayed his
Contemplation consists of four stanzas each of two quatrains rhymed ACBD.
The poem reflects upon the creations, whether grand or humble, of those who have predeceased
the narrator. He compares our lives to the natural cycle of growth and decline but, in
contemplation of their contribution to our lives, he concedes that even our unknown predecessors
deserve a moment of reflection.
A man in the depths of despair welcomes a night of rest but quickly descends into misgivings
at the thought that he will be granted only torment and that he may not see another day. All
the delights of the world will be denied to him and he will, soon, pass into the grave. He
wonders why he must continue to suffer when the future appears so bleak; but concludes
that he is indifferent to his fate. He neither wishes for the end nor for an extension
to life; but is able to conclude with some hope that the darkness may finally be lifted.
Format is five stanzas of between thirteen and twenty lines each the length of which reflects
the turmoil of his mind. The poem is irregularly rhymed.
Goodbye to Winter
Goodbye to Winter is a short lyrical poem written, unusually for me, in quatrains rhymed BD.
It anticipates the coming of spring after too long a time in thrall to winter's blast. The
day will succeed the night, the cold will dissipate and nature will be transformed from
dormancy into lasting optimism born of warmth and flowers.
A man (or woman) gazes sadly into a mirror to review his features which he regards with
regret at the passing of time reflected from the glass. He is, however, consoled by the
message he receives that life will still have its delights if he is receptive to its
Format is four stanzas rhymed DG but the last rhymed AE, BF, CG and DH.
Last Appeal is not rhymed. It consists of seven stanzas starting and ending as eight line
verse with intermediate verses of eleven lines.
It is a heartfelt plea by a man to his beloved to reconsider her rejection of his proposal of
marriage. He is distraught that neither party will have descendants and adduces several
reasons for her reconsideration. She will be unaware of the passage of time until it is
too late after which she will be doomed to end her days in obscurity. But she needs only
to say the word and he will readily embrace her again.
A man reminisces on the intense experience of his past love that affected him to the exclusion of all
else. The lovers had no wealth except that collected in their relationship; but they suddenly feared
that their relationship could not last and, therefore, parted leaving emptiness all about.
He wonders whether the experience could have been as vivid as his memory depicted and feels he should
be able to return to the scene and unwind his journey through time. Feeling that he can recall their
words, he implores the fates to waft him to the scenes they knew in order to dispel his sadness.
Format is seven stanzas of ten, eleven or twelve lines irregularly rhymed.
My Absent Muse
My Absent Muse consists of four stanzas each of seven lines rhymed EG.
Contrary to my having lost my muse at the time I wrote it, this poem sprang almost fully
formed into my head (but from where, I know not). It was written merely as a heartfelt
appeal by a lover to the gods for return of his belovèd who, like Eurydice, has too soon
been taken from him and left him bereft of inspiration. I hope that the style and appeal
of the poem will be judged by readers to indicate that the protagonist has at least a
remnant of his former ability; and, in all probability, will lead the gods to reconsider
their retention of his belovèd.
Rise O Moon
Rise O Moon consists of four stanzas each of eight lines alternately rhymed GH and FH.
A man implores the moon to rise and dull the stars that stab him with remembrance of a parted
lover. He likens the stars to frozen tears but asks the moon to search out his lover before
night fades into the dawn. Contrary to the joyful beams of the moon, stars have no remembrance
of happy days and are impervious to imploring eyes. He will, therefore, offer himself in
their place because there is no keener observer than the jilted lover.
Thoughts of Mortality
Thoughts of Mortality consists of nine stanzas each of ten lines except the first which is of
nine lines. It is only sparsely rhymed.
My debt to Wordsworth may be here discerned in the subject matter if not in the prose.
Having evidently experienced the loss of a close friend, the protagonist reflects for the
first time on the fragility of life wondering whether he may also soon feel the hand of
fate. He dismisses the foolish arrogance of man in considering himself and his works
immortal and bemoans man's inability to achieve worthy objectives.
He is almost prepared to surrender his will to live long; and he philosophically greets the
notion of dying as merely a transition to a further life and renewal of old contacts. But
then, reason prevails and he rejects his sad solemnity in favour of his former vigour and,
in a Wordsworthian allusion, shakes off the sentimentality into which his former sadness
has drawn him.
The protagonist rails at his entrapment by Time that flows about him, sometimes fleetingly,
sometimes tediously but always uncontrollably. He despairs at his subjugation but accepts
the inevitable conclusion with, however, the thought that his spirit will, then, be freed.
Furthermore, his deeds will live on in remembrance and defy his oppressor.
Format is six stanzas each of thirteen lines and is not rhymed.
Will You Return?
Will You Return consists of five stanzas each of eleven lines and is not rhymed.
Two lovers have been separated as autumn and winter approach, which not only signifies
privation but also serves as a metaphor for separation. The protagonist bewails his fate and
the long wait until his lover's return which he, in her absence, urges her to confirm. He
rejoices in the prospect of the renewal of their love in the spring and enumerates all the
wonders of the new season that they will experience when they are together again.
He reverts to reality, however, concluding that he must await events and, in the depths of
his melancholy, even envisages the thought that she will not return, whereupon, all comfort
will be lost.
Yearning For The Past
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