"Julius Caesar and Brutus" by Richard Westall‘An Old Friend’ by Phil S. Rogers The Society July 17, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 3 Comments An old friend called on me today, past indiscretions to relive. Long decades passed since we had spoke; he hoped ill feelings I’d forgive. We had once been the best of friends but problems came as years flew by; we had gone our own separate ways— a friendship left to slowly die. A bottle shared for old times’ sake and talk of people we once knew, of fights, fast cars, and football games and girls we loved, more than a few. After a while my mind grew tired and conversation became dreary. Eventually he took his leave; I was alone confused and teary. Time melts away as years elapse— some days there’s sun, some days there’s thunder, regrets shrugged off as life moves on and some friendships are rent asunder. Misunderstandings in the past, disagreements I forgave while pilgrimaging to see him and place some flowers on his grave. Phil S. Rogers is a sixth generation Vermonter, age 72, now retired, and living in Texas. He served in the United States Air Force and had a career in real estate and banking. He previously published Everlasting Glory, a historical work that tells the story of each of the men from Vermont that was awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor during the Civil War. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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) 3 Responses Joe Tessitore July 17, 2020 I was at the point of thinking “kind of boring” and then … Reply Alan July 17, 2020 Although there are some irregularities in capitalization, and I stumbled in the last stanza, this is a thought-provoking and important poem. If, as some people claim, time and space are illusions, then perhaps we really cannot leave each other, and perhaps the universe is a type of hologram in which the whole is contained within each part. I tend to use semicolons in short stanzas and reserve a period for the end of the stanza. I also capitalize the first letter on each line, regardless of where the first word occurs in the sentence. In Spanish poetry, on the other hand, capitalization is used only at the beginning of sentences (and with proper nouns that require it). But of course you have the poetic license to capitalize as you wish. As far as the last stanza goes, you might try revising it so the grammar and structure are a little bit more obvious. For example: Our former conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings I forgave while pilgrimaging to see him, while putting flowers on his grave. I feel that “pilgrimaging” kind of stretches the meter and is hard to pronounce, but you may have good reasons to use this word. Reply Margaret Coats July 17, 2020 As Alan says, this is a thought-provoking poem, and nicely structured to reveal the thought, with four stanzas of today, a transitional one of indeterminate time, and a final one of another today. I really like the transition stanza, and if I may follow Alan in making suggestions, I’d give some light touches to the meter as follows: some friendships may be rent asunder. Misunderstandings in the past And disagreements I forgave While pilgrimaging late to see him, And place some flowers on his grave. In the change to the transition stanza, “some friendships” now parallels “some days” to keep the flow going as you reach the final stanza. In that last stanza, the suggestion adds just one word to the second line, and one more word to the third. “Late” anticipates “grave” with the same long vowel sound–and as I read the line, the additional syllable creates a pause for breath after “him.” I hope this is sensitive to the effect you aim for; the poem does display a fine personal touch in its interpretation of the course of this friendship. 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.