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Brian Patten

(7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)

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And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, March 07, 2012

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Comments about this poem (And Nothing Is Ever As You Want It To Be by Brian Patten )

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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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