“Those were the days!” each generation cries,
Remembering a time from its own youth,
Before its paths went utterly awry,
Its plans all failed, and dreams all turned to dust.
But were the seeds of failure not first sown
In those first “glory days,” and do not tears
Inexorably follow, come to, those
Who spend their youth as youth is always spent?
Is not the cup of sorrow we now drink
Pressed from the grapes our youthful hands once picked?
“Those were the days!” they cry, to idolize
The age their parents had in turn deplored.
I began this poem nearly two years ago, at a time when I was getting the new-to-me famous ’60s pop song stuck in my head a couple of times every week or more, and the idea for the poem came to me. I quickly reached a mental roadblock, though, and shelved the fragment. When I came back to it earlier this year, I first added a couple of new lines, then two and a half months later I managed to bring it to what I considered a reasonable conclusion.
As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.