Learn More

Anne Barbara Ridler

(30 July 1912 – 15 October 2001 / Rugby, England)

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.

Nothing dies.
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Nothing is Lost by Anne Barbara Ridler )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead, Alfred Lord Tennyson
  3. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  4. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Fear No More, William Shakespeare
  7. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  8. Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
  9. Christmas Day In the Workhouse, George Robert Sims
  10. The Tiger, William Blake

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Lovely place as heaven, hasmukh amathalal
  2. Fear of Death, Lukas Sotola
  3. Of our condition little we know, Lukas Sotola
  4. The Illusory Driver, Lukas Sotola
  5. कहो क्या हो, जो मेरा दिल तुम्हे मुमताज़ क.., Abhishek Omprakash Mishra
  6. the kingdom is born, ademola oluwabusayo
  7. Haiku(Christmas), Aftab Alam
  8. At a Wedding, Sir John Suckling
  9. Nostalgia, Lawrence Beck
  10. Evening Song, Sherwood Anderson
[Hata Bildir]