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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Ghost of Our Old Selves


The world is too much with us 1
but never quite in focus.
I wish it would sometimes stand off
and not invade my space.

When we were children and the world
pressed in on every side,
we loved it so, were part of it.
Nature and we were seamless then.

Little of us we see in nature now.2
We crave some distance, a perspective.
Soft focus would be great -
anything but this close-in confusion.

The ghost of our old selves,
the natural man, is snagged
the other side of nature.
What's seen and what is known don't match.

If we could re-explore
the nature in our face -
spilt milk and honey, smudge -
we might find ways to reconnect.

Or is it language that we lack?
Words to differentiate,
unpick a language or a home,
sift fresh air from freshener.

...................................................................
1 The first line of a sonnet by William Wordsworth. Read it here
2 Remodelled from the third line of the same sonnet.

This is a Magpie Tales prompt.
Unfortunately Blogger would not let me upload the image. You will have to follow this link to see it.
(I wonder what they won't let me do tomorrow!)


23 comments:

jane.healy said...

Are you being censored Dave?

Thoughful response to this weeks prompt.

Rachna Chhabria said...

"The ghost of our old selves,
the natural man, is snagged
the other side of nature.
What's seen and what is known don't match."
Wonderful words, Dave. Love that stanza :)

Manicddaily said...

Great poem for the prompt. I don't know if it's language that we lack, or language that we have that stops us. Or just the body. Plus the drudge/rush of making a living.

What's so strange is to read Wordsworth and Blake and their complaints and think of how natural their life seems to us now! They walked!!!!! In Nature!!!!

Thanks for your kind comment re silly video. I have my OLN poem up now, but had been writing a lot--k.

Manicddaily said...

Great poem for the prompt. I don't know if it's language that we lack, or language that we have that stops us. Or just the body. Plus the drudge/rush of making a living.

What's so strange is to read Wordsworth and Blake and their complaints and think of how natural their life seems to us now! They walked!!!!! In Nature!!!!

Thanks for your kind comment re silly video. I have my OLN poem up now, but had been writing a lot--k.

Daydreamertoo said...

The world has changed drastically, even more so over the past 20 years. Since we've entered the technological world of virtual reality, we maybe connected across the world but, it has caused us all to become isolated and, disconnected from our real world too. We are not changing for the better, either.
This says it all, in a nutshell.
Well written Dave, even without the image the prose is powerful enough and speaks for itself.

Brian Miller said...

nice dave...the rediscovery of our face was the part that moved me...how true...and nature...

Hannah Stephenson said...

Soft focus is what we all need, every now and then.

HKatz said...

When we're kids I think we're more accepting of everything in nature, something you get at here - we know its terrors or potential terrors and also its beauties. As adults we try to put wallpaper over all of that. I see it in the way adults try to assuage a child's fears. Denial, distance, the pretense that our lives are perfectly ordered, that we are not growing older and nearing death. And with that we also shut out the beauty, the fresh air.

Carrie Burtt said...

If only we could...this is lovely and true Dave!! :-)

Kat Mortensen said...

I really like how you used quotes and used notations. That is really neat!

"Soft focus would be great -
anything but this close-in confusion."

This is my favourite line. I often wonder what the t.v. people who now appear in HD feel like when they see themselves on camera. Every little detail and flaw is exposed.

I prefer obscurity.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Splendid echoes from "Intimations of immortality..." I feel, it's actually that atmosphere brought powerfully and sincerely in our day and age.
Great poem.

Tess Kincaid said...

How was it the world pressing in was so comforting back then? Wonderful write Dave...

Ygraine said...

I found this so moving and thought provoking.
You've helped me to see with new eyes here!
Thank you Dave :)

Rose said...

I like this alot. I am especially facinated by the last verse!

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon our childhoods were real childhoods :-).

Laurel's Quill said...

Unpick a language or a home....do we really "get" to pick them??? Or are we just thrown in, left to fend for ourselves? Thoughtful writing. Laurel

Linda said...

I love that your poem and the thinking are modeled historically on a Wordsworth sonnet. The focus on our connection with nature is my favorite topic. How we reconnect is becoming more and more critical. Part of the disconnect has led to our longevity. Will we need to sacrifice that to reconnect? Back to more heavy laboring, hunting and less sitting around writing poetry.

Mystic_Mom said...

This is a really great read, even though I know what the image looks like, it loses nothing from Blogger being naughty. This poem is really good.

The Elephant's Child said...

Somedays very soft focus is required. Great poem thanks. I am still thinking about it - always a plus.

Dave King said...

Thanks Everyone

My apologies again for not being able to get round to you all individually. I fear there may bbe a few more such times in the near future.

A special greeting and warm welcome to new visitors. Thank you for your company and a big thank you for comments left.

Most of your comments pick up the change in the way lives are lived now to when we were children. Two changes, I suppose: in us and in the world around us, but I wouldn't care to be asked to unpick them.

So much thanks once more, I really did appreciate every single comment.

Jenny Woolf said...

A beautiful poem, sad, too. Strangely, I don't agree with the sentiments. I feel more in harmony with nature now than I did as a child. But certainly as a child I did not realise I was part of a larger world.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

A wonderful reflection of how we stage ourselves in nature - I think I appreciate my world more now too - see beauty I took for granted or never even noticed as a child.

Anna :o]

Helen said...

It feels good to accept and embrace our flaws, makes us all the more human and humane.