“Passing”

How memory fades fleetingly away!
That night, her visage hung before my eyes—
Or so it seemed—after our final set
Until my lashes closed at last in sleep,
Until excited nerve at last gave way
To weary bones, sore feet, and aching limbs.
But now, her face is painted on the wind—
I but half-catch a glimpse of that fair sight—
Dredged up from my disordered memory—
Before it fades again, beyond recall.

This is a rarity, a poem that I feel is more or less presentable “hot off the presses”; I wrote it yesterday after another not-quite-glimpse. I think—I hope—this poem should stand fairly well on its own, but I should mention that it stands within the context of several of my other poems written over the last several months, all (or nearly all) of which have been posted in this space already.

I always welcome your comments, critique, suggestions, or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you like it, if you don’t like it, if something “works”, if something “doesn’t work”, if it makes you think of something or someone, etc., please comment and say so!) If you like this, you can subscribe to this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday; you can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (or if that list is too intimidating, I’m posting more manageable subsets, like yesterday’s installment), so you can just start with those); I’d particularly like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.

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3 thoughts on ““Passing”

  1. Jonathan, I’ve been reading this and honestly feel that it needs some context. Maybe I’m dense but I don’t understand, so please don’t laugh! Does final set refer to playing tennis?

    • What? Oh, no. “Final set” is roughly synonymous to “last dance”, except (and this is why I chose “set” rather than “dance” after deliberating about the choice) that in contexts like this “dance” has some connotations of a “couple dance” (a waltz, polka, two-step, etc. …), while “set” definitely denotes something like a country dance that is danced in sets.

      One of the poems I was alluding to in my first prose paragraph above (I didn’t want to go hunting through the archive when I was writing that, but have now done so) is “A Summer’s Evening”—though the poem should have been clear enough per se without having to give that context.

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