Brian Patten

(7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)

And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be - Poem by Brian Patten

You lose your love for her and then
It is her who is lost,
And then it is both who are lost,
And nothing is ever as perfect as you want it to be.

In a very ordinary world
A most extraordinary pain mingles with the small routines,
The loss seems huge and yet
Nothing can be pinned down or fully explained.

You are afraid.
If you found the perfect love
It would scald your hands,
Rip the skin from your nerves,
Cause havoc with a computered heart.

You lose your love for her and then it is her who is lost.
You tried not to hurt and yet
Everything you touched became a wound.
You tried to mend what cannot be mended,
You tried, neither foolish nor clumsy,
To rescue what cannot be rescued.

You failed,
And now she is elsewhere
And her night and your night
Are both utterly drained.

How easy it would be
If love could be brought home like a lost kitten
Or gathered in like strawberries,
How lovely it would be;
But nothing is ever as perfect as you want it to be.


Comments about And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be by Brian Patten

  • Rookie - 0 Points Bright And Beautiful (5/8/2015 3:07:00 PM)

    Language evolves. We no longer use thee and thine and nowadays we’re more likely to use her rather than she in such a sentence. In this poem the use of her is more lyrical than she which sounds distant and more strident. It also adds to the symmetry of the line and is more evocative of the lover’s sadness. A poem, unlike prose has a wide, acceptable margin of syntactic flexibility. There’s nothing to be gained by sticking to grammatical correctness here than it would to punctuate e e cummings. It’s best to let the integral beauty of this poem simply to wash over you. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 69 Points Jemima Rivas (3/18/2014 7:10:00 AM)

    Brian I Love this Poem Its true to live and love :) Its real I've truly felt it ..................... but Should you make them as we want it to be or try to accept it? (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,072 Points Eugene Levich (3/17/2014 10:18:00 PM)

    Brian,

    This very lovely poem is marred twice by the same glaring grammatical error:

    You lose your love for her and then It is her who is lost, should read:
    ... it is SHE who is lost,

    The verb to be in English (with one exception) in all its conjugations always takes the subject pronoun. (The exception is: Woe is me!)

    I hope I haven't offended by pointing this out; I thought this poem too fine not to be corrected.

    E. Levich (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 730 Points Maya Hanson (3/17/2014 11:27:00 AM)

    This is a great write! beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Thomas Carolan (3/16/2014 5:23:00 PM)

    this is a true account of the whole meaning of lost love, and then it is both who are lost, I like this poem
    there is so much in all the lines here, I personally INJOYED (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shveta Sahal (3/16/2013 2:11:00 AM)

    Last few lines are beautiful! simple and yet so deeeeeeeep..great penning! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Apphia Grimonia (3/17/2012 7:32:00 AM)

    i'm impressed after read your poem..it's really beautiful...great poet u are.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 6 Points Phyllis T. Halle (3/16/2012 5:11:00 PM)

    Ah! Brian!
    I thought truth was complicated and you have shown TRUTH in such a simple way.
    I AM DELIGHTED TO HAVE DISCOVERED YOUR WORK. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,738 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (3/16/2012 8:00:00 AM)

    yes, indeed, nothing is ever as perfect as you want it to be... (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,866 Points Sally Plumb Plumb (8/22/2009 6:24:00 AM)

    I have read these poems from end to start and they are all beautifully fabulous. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 3 Points Original Unknown Girl (4/9/2008 5:44:00 AM)

    I read this poem in an anthology of poetry and I couldn't believe how spot on Brian is/was.... the final stanza says it all, a very fine poem that deserves its place in the Top 500. HG: -) xx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joan Maynard (4/22/2007 10:35:00 AM)

    I too have long loved this poem... but in the printed version I have the title reads 'And nothing is ever AS PERFECT as you want it to be'

    Ah, now that's better! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rachel Kilker (5/27/2006 7:30:00 PM)

    I love Brian Patten's poems too. He uses emotional expression so well, a few of his poems have had me tearful. The poem 'it is time to tidy up your life' is a very poignant poem and one of my favourites. Just today I cam on to find it, and looked and cannot find it. Then one last go at inputting it - I found it! A friend gave me this poem at a low point of my life, and it's just so.........well you know read it and keep reading it - till something sticks! The poem you refer to can be found here: www.annasach.net/peafair/otherwork/tidyup.htm (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anna Russell (2/25/2006 9:00:00 AM)

    I'm a big fan of Brian's work. I read a poem of his a few years ago called 'It's Time To Tidy Up Your Life' and have been unable to find it since. Does anyone know where I could get a copy?
    Hugs
    Anna xxx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Raynette Eitel (5/22/2005 7:10:00 PM)

    This is lovely, Brian; yet I was totally distracted by the line, It is her who is lost.' It needs to be 'It is she who is lost.' Those are the things that cause writers to lose credibility with the reader. My favorite part was your longing to bring home love like a lost kitten or strawberries. It is a happy, tender fantasy and lovely to read.

    Raynette (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (4/2/2005 6:13:00 AM)

    One of the loveliest poems about loss of love? (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »




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Read poems about / on: lost, loss, home, pain, night, love, world, wind



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 7, 2012


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