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As Time Goes By

by Ambitions of Lisa 

Posted: 23 January 2008
Word Count: 38

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We have a list
a long list
of people we love
who also love us
but as time goes by
the list becomes shorter
as we say goodbye
to the people who have made us
who we are.

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Comments by other Members

Zettel at 16:56 on 23 January 2008  Report this post

A sad but inevitable truth - eloquently expressed.


James Graham at 22:50 on 24 January 2008  Report this post
This seems a little different from poems you've posted before. There's no figurative language, the language is very plain. But it is eloquent. I get an immediate sense of its being a simple statement of something that's true. Two things maybe - the more obvious (but always sad) truth that 'the list becomes shorter', and the less obvious truth that those people whose passing we mourn have 'made us who we are'. I'm not saying that plain language is better than figurative language, it's just a matter of which is more appropriate to whatever is being expressed. In this poem I think you've matched language and subject in just the right way.

Just one small point - do you need the two lines at the beginning? Could it be simply 'We have a list' or 'We have a long list'?


Zettel at 12:20 on 25 January 2008  Report this post

These things are a matter of taste but my answer to James would be yes. I've tried reading this out loud (always I think a good test) and the form in which you have it with the two lines - feels rhythmically the best. Totally subjectively I find that short poems seem to possess what we might call an 'inner length' - thus extended Haiku's seldom work as well as those that conform at least to the 'correct' length though personally I'm more fleixible on the number of syllables. Then again some short poems need to be just that little bit shorter. This one feels right to me.

For me the first two lines here set a tone and sense of time oddly enough (don't know why, it's rhythmic not semantic)that sets up the simple sadness of the idea you express.

The more I read this the more it impresses me. It's spirit is haiku-like in that it expresses one simple lucid idea in a way that resonates.



V`yonne at 14:39 on 25 January 2008  Report this post
That is lovely - a distillation of love and loss.

joanie at 12:03 on 26 January 2008  Report this post
Hi Lisa. Sorry I'm late! I can't help thinking that this has come as a result of heart-felt loss. However, there is a compelling calmness, which seems to assure the reader that all is well, despite the inevitability of it all. I find the closing line fantastically positive.

I like the repetition; it adds to the feeling of inevitability and echoes the title, I think.

(Before I commented here, I was just looking at the latest posting on the Poetry bit of 'Jobs and Opps' - the Cruse Competition.)


Ambitions of Lisa at 13:07 on 26 January 2008  Report this post
Thank you for your comments Z, James, V'yonne and Joanie,

This poem was originally much longer than the one I have posted, and I cut it down to the words you see above; however I did question whether the repetition in the first 2 lines was necesary, and decided it was (for some reason).

I lost someone close to me in the last month and this piece was the result of much contemplation.

I'm so glad to receive such a positive response.

Thank you for the mention of the Cruse competition Joanie.


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