" Astronomer Copernicus, Conversation with God" by Jan Matejko‘Squandered Wealth’ by David Whippman The Society October 9, 2018 Beauty, Poetry 13 Comments In his bedsitter years, he was alone And all his dreams were haunted by some girl More wonderful than any precious stone Who’d bring fulfilment to his empty world. The loneliness pressed on him, dense as coal. Thinking of her was all that kept him strong. She was the magic jewel to save his soul. And then his life turned round – she came along. And soon there were commitments, and a brood. He hardly had a moment to himself. He hadn’t wanted all that solitude – But now it seemed like so much squandered wealth. Those sparkling diamonds of such precious time: How had he ever failed to see them shine? David Whippman is a British poet, now retired after a career in healthcare. Over the years he’s had quite a few poems, articles and short stories published in various magazines. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 13 Responses David Hollywood October 9, 2018 Its almost painful to read the twist of fate and irony.Very effective sense and description of destiny gone wrong for a person. A smashing poem. Reply Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Thanks David, glad you liked it. Reply J. Simon Harris October 9, 2018 Very nice work. I like the irony: the grass is always greener, as they say. Reply Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Thanks Simon. Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 9, 2018 The term “bedsitter” (referring to a one-room apartment) is less familiar to Americans than it is to British readers. We might say “bachelor years.” However, the one suggestion I would make is that you say “bed-sit” years, as a way to smooth out the meter. “Bed-sit” is a common way to shorten the term in Britain, and it would be easily understood. Reply Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Good point Joseph. It’s easy to forget that some Brit terms are unfamiliar to US readers. Reply David Paul Behrens October 9, 2018 I enjoyed this sonnet, about meeting a girl and how it can change your life. This poem reminds me of one I wrote in 1986, long before I gave any thought to meter, syllabic continuity or even punctuation. It entered my head, it rhymed, so I wrote it down. Reality You start out with hopes and dreams To create art is the purpose and way Life does not evolve as first it seems Hopes and dreams go somehow astray Dreams are replaced by reality And nature does take its course Soon there is a wife and family Their welfare is the driving force Soon you become a common man Work for money and drive a car You lie upon the sand to get a tan Absorbing rays from the nearest star The ancient ocean used to compel you To contemplate existence as a whole But the reality of life will soon tell you You must act out your existing role So why exist here in the first place? The question you asked since day one It’s to be a member of the human race And to enjoy the warmth of the sun Reply C.B. Anderson October 9, 2018 Yikes! You are excused. I’m sure we’ve all done this at one time or another. Reply David Paul Behrens October 9, 2018 Thanks, C.B. Coming from you, that’s very kind. I’m still learning. Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Thanks CB. Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Thanks for the comment and the poem, David. Appreciated. Reply Mark Stone October 9, 2018 David, Hello. 1. I read the first six syllables of the poem and was pleased that I would be reading a poem in anapestic meter (my favorite meter). I learned, by the end of line 1, that the poem is not in anapestic meter. So my suggestion is to not start a poem in a meter that is not the meter of the poem, i.e., with a substitution. Otherwise, confusion and disappointment may ensue. 2. The first eight lines led me to believe that the narrator was talking about a specific girl whom he had already identified. However, the end of the 8th line indicates that this is not the case, since it is only then that he meets her. 3. I haven’t been able to figure out how “now it seemed” works. Perhaps it should be “now it seems,” since both “now” and “seems” indicate present tense. 4. Line 13 is fabulous, with the metaphor of “sparkling diamonds” and the consonance of “sparkling” and “such precious.” Same comment regarding line 7. 5. I wonder if putting line 14 in the simple past tense would work, that is: “How did he ever fail to see them shine?” I think that’s an easier line to say. 6. I like the poem. The message is relevant; the meter is strong and the images (precious stone, coal, magic jewel) are concrete. I do have a reservation about using the word “precious” twice. Bottom line: Nicely done. Reply Dave Whippman October 11, 2018 Thanks for such a detailed comment, Mark. Sometimes it is hard to avoid a bit of ambiguity in such a structured form as a sonnet. But your points are valid. I think the repetition of “precious” just about works, as the word occurs at either end of the poem, not in quick succession. 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