Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Poet Warns of Self-absorption

My mind does not remember my face.

It proceeds quite happily, unless tweaked,

by a doctor, an ache, a grey hair, mirror.

I can remain the same callow, gullible,

easily-distracted youth I always was.

And it is this person the dogs welcome home

because they haven’t aged either.


Normally I do not include comments on this page but last Wednesday
we went to the first poetry reading I have actually attended,
Billy Collins, one of my favorite poets, visited the University of Calgary
Thanks for pointing that out Helen.
Not only did he read some of my all-time favorites poems of his,
“I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version
Of "Three Blind Mice”, “Today”, “Another Reason Why I Don't Keep
A Gun In The House”. He also gave some advice, one snippet of which
I used while writing this poem. Lots of his poems including the three
 I mentioned can be found on sites like or the website for
Poetry Magazine. The Paris Review also has an interview with him.
" Billy Collins, The Art of Poetry No. 83 available on the Internet.


Kathie Brown said...

If you do not remember your face, I remember mine, but when I look in the mirror, I realize someone has stolen it and I want them to give it back! I miss my young, slimmer face. I wonder who that girl was and if she still lives in me. I like this reflective poem, even if it is a warning!

Gene said...

A wonderful poem..Thank you. It's funny, at 70, the things I thought were important when I was 12 are still the important thing to me now.
Everyone is born an artist but life trys its best to take that away.

Guy said...

Hi Kathie

Mirrors are like memories tricky things to play with, you never know where they will lead you. Maybe we should only use a mirror to shave, put on lipstick or see if our hat is on straight. The best mirrors to use may be your pets when you get home or you friends and famliy when they see you. Those mirrors that reflect joy or love or appreciation are the ones to pay attention to.

Now I've gone and got all sentimental.

Thanks for your comments Kathie I always enjoy them.


Guy said...

Hi Gene

Thanks for your comments. I have come to some similar conclusions. A happy childhood gives you so many pleasures, you feel you can do anything. As you age you accumulate so many layers while going through life you can barely remember what you are working towards. Now as I try to discard them I realize what I want to keep are often the things I valued as a child.

All the best.

kerrdelune said...

I seldom recognize the face in the bathroom mirror at all these days and am content to see myself reflected in Spencer's eyes now and then - the feeling is wonderfully expressed in your poem. it would have been wonderful to attend a reading by Billy - he is one of my favorite poets.

Guy said...

Hi Cate

I am glad you like him. He is an excellent speaker and teacher as well as a fine poet.

Hi to Spencer.