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Memory Is My Lover Now

by Zettel 

Posted: 01 April 2017
Word Count: 163

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Memory  Is My Lover Now
Memory is my lover now
beside within she lies
the spirit of my dreams
loving in her eyes
Oh to be in love again
now that Spring is free
passion waning to desire
as river to the sea
She takes me on a journey 
I see but cannot feel
regret tempers joy
was this ever real
If I had my time again
it would not be mine
memory seduces me
painful but benign

Loving memory calls to me
a siren voice of yesterday
hanging on to used to be
while present passion ebbs away
But does this have to be
cannot good days wait ahead
the thrill of life abides
the spirit is not dead
It is desire not love
makes the world go round
but love gives it meaning
and its bewitching sound
So come to me my lover
with pain and some regret
we still have life to live
you ain't seen nothing yet. 

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 20:22 on 02 April 2017  Report this post
This is in the nature of a preliminary comment, partly due to pressure of time but also because I would like to know what you think of my criticisms before going further.

In this poem I can’t help feeling that to some extent you lose sight of the central idea, which is introduced in the title and first line. ‘Memory  Is My Lover Now’ appealed to me at once (love at first sight, so to speak) because for me personally it’s something that ‘oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed’. It speaks (in a good way) to my personal circumstances – well on in years, widowed for four years. Memory does seem to become at least a companion, an invisible partner in daily life who sometimes reassures me, sometimes reminds me of things I would rather forget and tells me to face up to them. She takes me on journeys, as your third stanza says. She’s active not passive, taking initiatives at times when I would rather just live in the present – which doesn’t please me, but often I end up being grateful to her.

I think when I began to read the poem I was hoping for a personification of memory, a portrait of this ‘lover’ described as if she were a person. A poem which brings Miss Memory to life.

I can see that you wanted to write about such themes as the difference between desire and love, or certainty and doubt. The latter leads to a stanza which has, as far as I can see, little to do with the title:
It is not faith nor certainty
that makes us wise or true
but doubt that drives us on
to see the challenge through

It’s just that the idea contained in the title is so promising that it’s disappointing to find that it’s not fully developed. It is developed to some extent, as in this stanza:
She takes me on a journey 
I see but cannot feel
regret tempers joy
was this ever real

Yes, regret does temper joy; memory can be a disquieting travel companion. And the feeling ‘Was this ever real?’ is very familiar. However, in the poem as a whole I feel the brilliant idea of representing Memory as a person with individual traits, habits and attitudes, isn’t fully realised.

As I say, before taking it further I’d be interested to know what you think of these remarks. If you prefer to leave the poem more or less as it is, please tell me so and we can just work on revisions.


Zettel at 01:08 on 04 April 2017  Report this post

I need to re-think this as I recognize the issue you are raising. As with most of my poems, this started with a single line - eactly the one of course that you have picked out.  It reverberated for a couple of days and then the poem as it stands came very quickly. But it does switch fcus and tone as you say and I would like to explore more consistently the theme suggested by the title.

Therefore: I suggest as you indicate, that you hold fire until I have resolved these issues one way or anther. Thank for the comment - helpful as evere.


James Graham at 20:07 on 04 April 2017  Report this post

I would like to explore more consistently the theme suggested by the title.

I think I'm going to remember the line 'Memory is my lover now' for a long time. In terms of my own experience, I really think I know what it means. I look forward to your new version.


Zettel at 09:22 on 08 April 2017  Report this post

I'm not sure this lives up to the original idea but at least now I think it is consistent. I suppose the last line indulgent but I wanted something defiant ("do not go gentle..."). 

James Graham at 21:22 on 09 April 2017  Report this post
I will post a comment very soon. Sorry to take so long.


James Graham at 16:26 on 10 April 2017  Report this post
You can be well satisfied with this poem now. I like the change of mood you achieve, especially towards the end. Actually there’s a dip in the middle - stanzas 3-5, where we find ‘I see but cannot feel’, ‘regret’, ‘painful’, and ‘a siren voice’. I’m no expert in Classical Greek, but have read Homer, love The Odyssey, and know you need to be lashed to the mast in order to resist the fatal attraction of the sirens. All this is a negative phase of the poem, which then leads to a reassertion of ‘the thrill of life’. Now there is still ‘pain and some regret’ but we can shrug these off and be affirmative about life. This dip and rise as the poem goes on is interesting and well managed.

Now, some excellent lines. I could quote others, but these are my favourites.
beside within she lies

Very concise. She lies, so it seems, both within my consciousness and beside me like a real companion – or benign apparition perhaps. All that, and maybe more, stated in four words.
was this ever real

I quote this simply because, like your title, it speaks to me. I share this unsettling thought. I'm sure many people, especially over a certain age, would share it too.

And the last line:
you ain't seen nothing yet

It’s a very informal ending to a poem which is otherwise quite literary – but not at all out of place. It seems to dismiss earlier tribulations completely. There’s a finality about it. A shrug followed by a smile.


Zettel at 23:40 on 10 April 2017  Report this post
Thanks James.  Another poem helped by your insights.

My son has nagged me to back up my poems so he can back them up properly. I was astonished to find there are over 250. I'm grateful to both WW without which I doubt many of them would be written. And especially to you personally for whatever quality they may possess has been greatly enhanced by your committed contribution.

Thanks again



James Graham at 13:47 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
Something we discussed before: you might select some of the poems that mean most to you and have them made into a chapbook. It would feel like a 'solid' achievement, in more ways than one; you might sell a few but it would also be a gift to your family, including of course your granddaughter. The cost - I hope this is not too optimistic - should be well below four figures.


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