Anne Barbara Ridler
Nothing is Lost
Nothing is lost.
We are too sad to know that, or too blind;
Only in visited moments do we understand:
It is not that the dead return ---
They are about us always, though unguessed.
This penciled Latin verse
You dying wrote me, ten years past and more,
Brings you as much alive to me as the self you wrote it for,
Dear father, as I read your words
With no word but Alas.
Lines in a letter, lines in a face
Are the faithful currents of life: the boy has written
His parents across his forehead, and as we burn
Our bodies up each seven years,
His own past self has left no plainer trace.
The cells pass on their secrets, we betray them
Unknowingly: in a freckle, in the way
We walk, recall some ancestor,
And Adam in the color of our eyes.
Yes, on the face of the new born,
Before the soul has taken full possession,
There pass, as over a screen, in succession
The images of other beings:
Face after face looks out, and then is gone.
Nothing is lost, for all in love survive.
I lay my cheek against his sleeping limbs
To feel if he is warm, and touch in him
Those children whom no shawl could warm,
No arms, no grief, no longing could revive.
Thus what we see, or know,
Is only a tiny portion, at the best,
Of the life in which we share; an iceberg’s crest
Our sunlit present, our partial sense,
With deep supporting multitudes below.
Anne Barbara Ridler's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Nothing is Lost by Anne Barbara Ridler )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(563 BCE - 483 BCE)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- A Familiar Letter, Oliver Wendell Holmes
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Wedding Anniversary Wishes -Bhaiya Bhabh.., Priya Arora
- A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
- Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
- One Art, Elizabeth Bishop
Poem of the Day
- Birthday, Gunde Narsing Rao
- Devil, Emranor Reja
- Elegy for Tomorrow, Jahred Bertolfo
- In a way all are slaves., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- To vent anger, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- Fate, Free Will and God, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- Love Note 13, Michael P. McParland
- Many Good Reasons To Cry, Bill Galvin
- Committing To A Cause, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Webs Of Fantasy, RoseAnn V. Shawiak