Long Past Spring

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
                                                  Ernest Hemingway, The Torrents of Spring (1926)

The Torrents of Spring_coverLong Past Spring

Each passing year,
I think more of my youth.
But what words to write,
when memory grows dim
and tales that come to mind
could be mine or belong
to another? Would the world
know the difference? Would I?

 

This poem is my response to dVerse Poetics – One True Sentence, the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of the sentences provided, quotes from the works of Ernest Hemingway to write a poem.
Hemingway’s novella, The Torrents of Spring, is one that I have not read. Ironically, after writing this I read the Wikipedia article about the novella to learn that there is a character who, regarding the protagonist, “enthralls him with her store of literary (but possibly made up) anecdotes.”

Image source: Wikipedia.org

41 thoughts on “Long Past Spring

  1. Too true, Ken. As I read your poem and pondered, another quote came to mind, from Prometheus, one of the Alien series’ movies, by Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, “It’s what I choose to believe.” So much of our reality rests on that premise.

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  2. I think the older we get and the more we have to look back over, the harder it becomes to distinguish memories from memories of memories. I choose to write the best stories I can with the memories I have!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is gorgeously encapsulated. 💝💝 I resonate strongly with the idea that with each passing year we think more about the time of youth. When trying to recall stories that revolved around .. I can’t help but wonder if they play out the same way in the minds of others .. as mine .. 🙂

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  4. It’s like a loop. Some memories become so lost, we never know if it’s really ours. I get confused with dreams and if they really happened. At times as well with memories and if they truly happened, or if I am just imagining things.

    It’s quite startling to me and I can resonate a bit with your piece. Maybe it’s good not to know the difference, maybe we aren’t supposed to know after a certain point lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Years ago, I remember talking to the grandfather of someone I knew. He would relate stories of first coming to the States from Poland (in 1914, maybe?) and stories of surviving the Depression by owning a farm with no debt. Any time he told those stories, they never varied by a word. English was not his first language, so maybe that was his way of keeping those memories aligned.

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  5. I think I remember things from toddlerhood, but surely I’m remembering what family members have told me. Then again the is the Rashomon Complex, ten people see the same event, and come up with different versions of it.

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    • I think you’re right, Ron., no matter how much each of us thinks they own the moment. I remember writing a poem years ago about a co-worker who died. Actually it was about the people around him and how each of them owned a friendship that no one else could understand. Work with someone every day for years, and then suddenly not, and the stories take on a new life.

      Like

  6. Oooh, this gets gears dpinning!
    My sister and I are frequently startled at how divergent our memories of shared experiences are – at times I can come aroind to hers or she to mine through getting into more detail … at other times I choose to believe I (younger) just got the scene all wrong!

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  7. I really liked this poem of yours.
    Would the world know the difference? Would I?

    All I can say is that I have checked out a book from the library not realizing until chapter 2 that I had already read it.
    And this poem makes me wonder whose words I may be writing that I have read long ago that are just now awakening to arrive in my poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I like to think I would know the difference, but then it’s all about perception.
      I can be the same way about movies. We enjoy film noir, and I’ve banked a few on the DVR. More than once, I’ve gotten 10 minutes into a movie before I realize I’d seen it three years prior. At least I still enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poetry is the remaining thread to a non song oral tradition, which that grandfather seemed to demonstrate. With the ability to instantly edit- no more onion skin paper- it seems we’ve lost the ability to really think, and hold fast to that thinking. Instead, it’s easier to just alter our words. I don’t know if it’s related to the demise of memory, or maybe the chemical stew we exist in muddles us.
    Thought provoking pen, Ken

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a good point. I save numerous drafts of my poems so I can retain the process for reference, if needed. Do I ever read those files? Very seldom. In fact, if I were to start over I’d probably write a different poem each time.
      I’m currently writing a couple of drafts for a small stew for later today. 😉
      Thank you, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

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