Saturday, July 15, 2006

Do you ever.........

catch a snatch of something, a piece of music, a line of a poem, or a clip of a film and wish you'd caught the name, or cut out the clipping and saved it? Well years ago, must be 15 at least, I read a poem in the Observer newspaper by the Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart about the death of her daughter, yes cheery as ever I know, but it was such a wonderful piece about a mother's guilt at living longer than her child, and indeed about not being able to give her daughter a sufficient appetite for life, as she'd killed herself.

I could never find the poem, and gave up trying. On Wednesday when I was looking through the bookshelves I came across Elizabeth Smart's biography, which I bought years ago looking for the poem, and couldn't believe it when it wasn't even mentioned. Anyway that rekindled my curiosity and I started researching on the net, which was barely in existence when I was last looking.

Well to my joy I found it, it's called Rose Died, and the actual manuscript drafts are available on this Canadian site.

I just love the net when it helps you like this. I also like it when a coming together of circumstances finally allows you to work out a niggle, even if it is just a tiny, though longstanding, one. As the years have past I've often thought I'd maybe dreamt about reading the poem, that it didn't actually exist. And funnily enough now that I've found it it's longer than I remember, but still very moving. I hope I'm not infringing copyright when I say that I particularly like these lines:

Two sins will jostle forever, and humble me
beneath my masked heart:
it was my job to explain the world;
it was my job to get the words right.


Blogger reno said...

Hello !

Best regards from Belgium !


11:07 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:09 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:10 am  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home