"The Three Ages of Man" by Titian‘What If My Time’ and Other Poetry by Theresa Rodriguez The Society April 15, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 21 Comments What If My Time What if my time is limited? if all That I have left is perhaps months, not years, All laden with the worries and the fears Surrounding what is death. Can I recall A time when all the cares of life were small, And I would not yield up to silent tears, Or what to high anxiety adheres, As I am just about to take a fall? I need a calm and steady state of mind, Where I can take control of the unknown, The frightful darkness that can make me blind, The secret terror place that is my own; I must thus steady stay, and then remind My weaker self what better thought has known. What Once Was Is No More What once was is no more. I say goodbye To youth and to the struggles of the past, And sometimes shed a tear. I stand steadfast, And look ahead, and then I heave and sigh, And mourn the loss of what has come to die. The unavoidable will thus contrast With sprightly, lively living that has passed; This new-old entity can mystify. I now accept the change that comes with age: The greying and the fading energies That cause me to look inward, as a sage Would, finding meaningful philosophies; And still I put my thoughts and heart to page In hopes that I retain my faculties. The Rise of Fall There were such pretty flowers in the spring: The fragrant colors of a verdant time; Such fresh potentiality, sublime In all the loveliness that they did bring. Then summer issued forth a deep wellspring, Maturely ripening, where vines would climb And trees begin to bulge. This is the prime Of life when growth will dance and sway and sing. But autumn is the time of now. I stand Amid the harvests and the fruit. The change Between the then and now, it leaves me jaded; I barely have the bearings to withstand This person of today. Indeed, how strange, How much the beauty of the past has faded. previously published in Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women Theresa Rodriguez is the author of Jesus and Eros: Sonnets, Poems and Songs, a sonnet chapbook, and her third book of poetry, entitled Longer Thoughts, which has just been released by Shanti Arts. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Religion and Intellectual Life, the Midwest Poetry Review, Leaf Magazine, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry, Mezzo Cammin, and the Society of Classical Poets. Her website is www.bardsinger.com. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News: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) 21 Responses M. P. Lauretta April 15, 2020 What lovely, lovely poems! I absolutely enoyed every single one of them. Thank you for sharing them with us. Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 15, 2020 I am so glad you enjoyed them, M.P.! Reply Sally Cook April 15, 2020 Well done as usual, but so depressing. All is not over. Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 15, 2020 Thank you for your comments, Sally. The first sonnet was a reaction to a cancer scare that I had last fall. The other two are sober reflections on the aging process. I would hope they would not be so much depressing as truthful! Thanks again for your encouragement, all is definitely not over! Reply Joseph S. Salemi April 15, 2020 All three are fine work, but I especially like the last, which reminds me of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73 (“That time of year thou mayst in me behold…”). Its title “The Rise of Fall” is inspired. Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 15, 2020 Wow, what a comparison, Dr. Salemi! Thank you so much for your appreciation and comments! Reply Monty April 16, 2020 For the attention of CB Anderson only (if he sees this). Regarding our recent discussion on the use of question-marks, and in particular my assertion (right or wrong) that a question-mark should always be followed by a capital-letter . . I’d be interested to learn of your view on the first line of the first poem above. Reply James A. Tweedie April 16, 2020 In dialogue, a question mark is treated as a comma as in, “Where are you going?” he asked. The word “he” would not be capitalized. So there are exceptions. But this certainly doesn’t relate to your specific question for Theresa. Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 16, 2020 I was wondering about it myself, Monty. It just seemed right not to capitalize it since the initial question did not seem to be a complete thought. But I am willing to change it if it is better to capitalize it. Thanks for your comment. Reply Monty April 16, 2020 I didn’t feel it was important enough to address you personally, Theresa. I only addressed CB because we had a discussion on this subject last week – with differing opinions. But seeing as you ask: Until today, I’d never before looked-up the official usage of question-marks. I’d always taken it as a given that they must always be followed by a capital letter. But after Mr Tweedie’s assertion below stating that there can be exceptions to this rule, I decided to do a little digging; and it transpires that he is indeed correct in asserting that there’s an exception to the rule when a question-mark is used in quoted speech/dialogue. Here’s what I found: ‘A question-mark replaces a full-stop at the end of a sentence. As such, the following word should always be capitalised, except after quoted dialogue’.. as Mr Tweedie exemplified with: “Where are you going?” he asked. So there you have it, Theresa: unless there are speech-marks involved, a question-mark should always be followed by a capital letter, because a question-mark acts as a full-stop . . thus the word which follows it is the start of a new sentence. Regarding your second poem above: as well as being well written, it’s very philosophy can help one to “accept the change that comes with age”.. because age will afford you more time to “put your thoughts and heart to page”.. which, in turn, should help to ensure that you “retain your faculties”. Theresa Rodriguez April 16, 2020 Thanks for your research, Monty. And I am glad to see that the philosophy behind “What once was is no more” can be of benefit to you! I appreciate your kind comments! Monty April 17, 2020 Well, I was thinking of the “benefit” it could have on others, Theresa. Luckily, I haven’t started to feel that way yet. I’m 57, but I don’t really feel any different to when I was 47! Saying that, I’m fully aware that I could be riddled with arthritis in three year’s time. Theresa Rodriguez April 17, 2020 I’m glad you still feel as young as you did ten years ago, Monty. I am nearing 58 and I have definitely felt the aging process over the last 5-7 years particularly. As you see, it is the subject of much of my poetry of late. Christina April 17, 2020 Theresa, Monty and James, the first and second sentences of the first (very lovely and comsoĺing) poems are long and complex. Theresa, you begin the second one with “Can I recall….” and continue to the sentence end and question-mark aftet “…take a fall’. The first sentence should be treated similarly, with a comma, not a question-mark, after ‘limited’, and the question mark in its proper place at ‘ďeath’ – the end of this sentence. Theresa Rodriguez April 17, 2020 Christina, you are right. I was also thinking that might be the answer. I will amend it for the second edition of Sonnets, which I am working on at this very moment. Thank you for your insight and suggestion, I very much appreciate it. Monty April 18, 2020 Well played, Christina: you’ve eclipsed us all. I only saw a question-mark without a succeeding capital letter, and immediately jumped the gun without looking any further. I can now see what you’re saying: it’s a sequence of related questions ending with the word ‘death’, hence that’s where the question-mark should be . . and the existing question-mark should be replaced with a comma. Yours is the final word on the matter. Theresa Rodriguez April 18, 2020 I changed it in my manuscript to Chirstina’s suggestion and it definitely reads better. Thank you Monty, James and Christina for caring about the “little” things in poetry that are nevertheless important to the overall quality of one’s work! Leo Zoutewelle April 16, 2020 I thought these poems to be quite comforting, as I am old myself. Thanks, Theresa! Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 16, 2020 I am glad they were a comfort to you, Leo! Reply Jonathan Kinsman April 16, 2020 Theresa, in my very humble and sincere opinion, I believe the third sonnet to be the most effective. For it is there that your fine language makes a connection (allusive) to your sexuality (I mean this in its traditional sense: you as a physically and intellectually maturing woman): “. . . where vines would climb/And trees begin to bulge.” When we make those connections (more an extended metaphor, I guess, than an obvious, ” X is Y” sort of thing), we become part of that great Tradition ( “tradere:” ‘to give[hand] over’) that our humanity shares in with its Arts. Your poems are full of smooth and rhythmic grace. I believe a little seasoning of paprika or garlic powder [sorry! always thinking food!] with allusions to specific scenes in life or personal experience, would elevate them to Parnassus! That’s my tuppence, O lady of the Harvest! [I tend to know names, I am a teacher of English and always introduce my 8th graders to the meaning of their praenomen] Jonathan. Reply Theresa Rodriguez April 16, 2020 Thank you Jonathan, “gift of God,” for your comments, which took my breath away. Yes, I am “The Reaper” indeed! I also think “The Rise of Fall” to be the best of the three sonnets. Although I have been writing sonnets nigh on forty years, I only began exploring the Petrarchan form this past summer. I find it particularly effective for introspection. Many thanks again for your thoughts about my work! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.