Brian Patten

(7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)

Simple Lyric - Poem by Brian Patten

When I think of her sparkling face
And of her body that rocked this way and that,
When I think of her laughter,
Her jubilance that filled me,
It’s a wonder I’m not gone mad.

She is away and I cannot do what I want.
Other faces pale when I get close.
She is away and I cannot breathe her in.

The space her leaving has created
I have attempted to fill
With bodies that numbed upon touching,
Among them I expected her opposite,
And found only forgeries.

Her wholeness I know to be a fiction of my making,
Still I cannot dismiss the longing for her;
It is a craving for sensation new flesh
Cannot wholly calm or cancel,
It is perhaps for more than her.

At night above the parks the stars are swarming.
The streets are thick with nostalgia;
I move through senseless routine and insensitive chatter
As if her going did not matter.
She is away and I cannot breathe her in.
I am ill simply through wanting her.

Comments about Simple Lyric by Brian Patten

  • (1/22/2011 8:06:00 AM)

    This piece is so very lovely... it reminds me of Pablo Neruda (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (1/1/2009 3:43:00 PM)

    So beautiful. You have great skill. Nice flow. (Report) Reply

  • (11/25/2006 1:07:00 PM)

    Possibly the best poem ever written about having a broken heart.
    Anna xxx
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/21/2005 10:56:00 AM)

    My favorite poem. Ever. (Report) Reply

  • (4/2/2005 2:30:00 PM)

    I'm hearing Yeats read this aloud so beautifully. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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?

Read poems about / on: lyric, laughter, night, star

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

[Report Error]