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If only

by eddieg 

Posted: 23 July 2006
Word Count: 31
Summary: after someone special past away

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Rich of time
Teach and Learn
Exotic fruit
and shell fish

Clichéd rights
Expressed tonight
Confidence suggested

A world now known
Not new before
If I had, my god
If Only

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Comments by other Members

ccatherine at 10:59 on 25 July 2006  Report this post
I need to read this some more to comment fully. But I think it is beautiful, if slightly obscure.

Will come back to it when I get chance.



ccatherine at 20:06 on 25 July 2006  Report this post

I think this is beautiful in it's brevity. I assume from the opening that this was the death of someone elderly and wise but don't understand the final two lines of the first stanza. Perhaps they express something really personal. Maybe something more is needed.

Not sure about:
Clichéd rights

beyond me what you mean.

The final stanza could work well (perhaps even on its own) but I don't understand your use of new. Is this supposed to read 'not knew before' if so it would be better (grammatically) to repeat the use of known, or perhaps even think of another word.

I think that there should be some punctuation in this one, and think especially that the final line would be better if you included an exclamation mark at the end! This for me would fit with the tone of lament.

Hope that helps - still think it is beautiful to read - but perhaps needs a little more work.


eddieg at 21:38 on 25 July 2006  Report this post
Thanks Catherine.
I am very new to this... so all this is such a learning curve and it's amazing how quickly you learn with knowledgable comments.
Firstly the first stanza were a personel expression of life itself
the second of how how we deal with death when it is right before us.
and the 3rd is more the precise moment of death but not... more of a continuation of life.
Does that make any sense? I've never tried to explain anything i've written before.

Would you look at my first poem and tell me what you think... thank you

paul53 [for I am he] at 08:20 on 31 July 2006  Report this post
Coming in late and reading the previous comments and responses has helped me immensely, otherwise I might have been tempted to leave just a few words.
It now seems to me that what you have tried is to address one of life's "biggies" as concisely as possible, which is a tremendous undertaking. I must say that, while I needed your explanation for the first 2 stanzas, you have partially succeeded with the third [though mindful of Catherine's comments] which is an admirable achievement.
I would add further that no one should ever rely on a spellchecker as the sole means of correction. As well as "new" for "knew", there is "past" for "passed" in the Summary.
"Cliched rights" brings forth much discussion. As poets we are adjured to be ever new and fresh, but the unpleasant parts of reality - such as bereavement - seem to bring out only empty words and dull homilies, though it is worth remembering that most cliches are originally based on time-worn paths through metaphorical minefields. If I recall correctly, the ritual of death is a presription of how to grieve for an with the departed. It identifies with them, then gradually draw away from them when entering the "you are gone but I remain" phase. That's the theory anyway, not so much a rememberance of the dead but an affirmation of our continuing life lest we get stuck in half-life mode.

ccatherine at 18:20 on 31 July 2006  Report this post

I assumed this was about a specific person who had died in your life. Someone you were close to because of the:
Exotic fruit
and shell fish

which, says nothing about life itself to me and I don't understand the connection to the rest of the poem.

I agree with Paul that your attempt to address one of life's "biggies" so consisly is admirable but feel that you don't actually succeed [except as stated, partially in the final stanza].

Clichéd rights

is much clearer after your explantion, and Paul's clarification, and perhaps works better with this knowledge.

I wrote a poem about my aunty who died which is about her futile bravery in the light of the inevitable, writewords[/ulr/ccatherine/works/veronica]. Perhaps it is best to address specifics before attempting such huge subjects.



Have no idea how to link so will re-post onto this site, hope it helps.

I too used to attempt the big questions but realise that I am only addressing them empirically so perhaps I should leave well alone.

I will look at your first poem when I have time.


eddieg at 18:48 on 31 July 2006  Report this post
Thanks again guys.
i would really like to hear what you think of "my first if it's a poem"

ccatherine at 19:46 on 31 July 2006  Report this post
I have re-posted my poem "Veronica" which is about the death of a loved one and the continuation of life. Hope this highlights what I mean. Please have a look it's on the poetry 11 site, at the bottom.

Let me know if it helps.


Iain MacLeod at 18:15 on 01 August 2006  Report this post
Hi Eddie,

I can't disagree with the others here, this is at once personal and wide-ranging in its effects, which seems to me to be what poetry is about.

If you'll allow me to be a pedant for a few moments, perhaps the 'rights' in "cliched rights" should be spelt 'rites'. [/pedant mode off]

all the best,


eddieg at 21:07 on 01 August 2006  Report this post
thanks Iain.
No it is meant to be rights as in something which is right.
The other word I was contemplating was truths.E

Iain MacLeod at 21:18 on 01 August 2006  Report this post
No problem Eddie. Even better that I was wrong then, because the line made me think abour rights/rites at the same time. Always a good thing, being a wee bit enigmatic.

Keep it going,


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