John Carter Brown

A Poem Lost - Poem by John Carter Brown

As I lay in my bed, unable to sleep
I composed a good poem I wanted to keep;
It kept going round and around in my head
(I should have been bothered to write it all down)
But decided, by rote, to remember instead.

Once honed, I repeated, lest I should forget
It felt so secure in my mind there, and yet
Time and again I have made this mistake
I should have got up, or at least stayed awake.

In spite of persisting I was not receiving
No matter my anger, there was no retrieving
And so, after all, I now know to my cost
This delicate whisper,
This poem, is lost.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Exactly what happened a few nights ago - and I'm still annoyed with myself.

(Written Oct 2012)

Comments about A Poem Lost by John Carter Brown

  • Kim Barney (12/16/2015 3:17:00 PM)

    This has happened to me so many times! It happened again less than a week ago. One of my poems is on this same subject. It's called THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.
    Reminds me of a writer who had a similar problem. He was always having good ideas in the middle of the night, and in the morning he could remember that he had had a good idea, but couldn't remember what it was. So one night he put a notebook and pencil by his bed and kept telling himself as he was falling asleep:
    'Write it down! Write it down! ' In the middle of the night he sat upright in bed, grabbed the notebook and scribbled something in it. The next morning he looked at the notebook to see what he had written. It was 'Write it down! '
    (Report) Reply

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  • (11/28/2015 8:37:00 AM)

    I wonder if Keats and Shelley had this problem? (Report) Reply

  • (8/17/2014 10:40:00 AM)

    Nice poem John, I can relate to what you said hahaha. (Report) Reply

  • Nia Schexnider (4/15/2014 2:41:00 PM)

    Me too! Sometimes I even think about writing a poem just like this one :) (Report) Reply

  • Richard Blay (3/26/2014 5:45:00 AM)

    hahaha... John, it happens to me most; a little sleep, alittle slumber, then all is lost.
    But it comes back to us in a different form.
    (Report) Reply

  • Callie Carroll (3/18/2014 9:55:00 AM)

    You communicate adroitly a poet's plight. Paper and pencil, paper and pencil, always within reach is my rule. (Report) Reply

  • Fiona Schwartzinoff (1/19/2014 10:16:00 PM)

    WHY does poetry come to one's mind at 2 o'clock in the morning? ! WHY? ! It always comes just when one wants to do nothing but fall asleep in peace. Instead, you've got this enchanting firefly of inspiration buzzing within you, forcing you to remember. But then what happens? Morning comes, and it's gone! GONE!
    I definitely gave this a ten! It's so relatable!
    (Report) Reply

  • Susan Lacovara (12/29/2013 3:08:00 PM)

    I have actually taken to leaving myself a voicemail recording, while out walking, as not to let a poem escape....Seems the good ones, unencrypted in memory, run the risk of being lost...thanks for the reminder to rescue them! (Report) Reply

  • (12/19/2013 8:46:00 PM)

    Nice poem. It is always better to be awake and write the poem down on a paper, at least with a few hints. (Report) Reply

  • Claude Simpson (11/3/2013 3:10:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem, relevant and fitting to many of us as writers. It happened to many writers where many ideas would come by but forgotten. Wise to jot down every thought. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Lacovara (10/11/2013 12:07:00 AM)

    I can relate very well to your many times a wonderful thought escaped by the mere hesitation of capturing it...pen to paper....well written and so true, for poets alike. Thank you for commenting on my poem In My Mother's Hand...I invite you to explore more of my work, as I will, yours. PEACE (Report) Reply

  • Gabhriel Londe (9/10/2013 2:56:00 PM)

    You know we've all had this happen. But you did a good job at producing a poem in the wake of that lost poem. Great write (Report) Reply

  • Ozark Mountain Homegrown (9/1/2013 1:04:00 AM)

    aaahhh yes...something that I am sure, many have experienced...but it then in turn led you to this poem, which is quite nice :) (Report) Reply

  • Heather Wilkins (5/29/2013 4:18:00 PM)

    So oft time words come in the night, and for some reason I believe I will remember them in the morning. Not so,
    when I wake up all is forgotten. So I now jump up and make a notation.
    (Report) Reply

  • Heather Wilkins (5/29/2013 4:18:00 PM)

    So oft time words come in the night, and for some reason I believe I will remember them in the morning. Not so,
    when I wake up all is forgotten. So I now jump up and make a notation.
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/25/2013 2:25:00 PM)

    Well, it resulted in this poem which might be better then the one you lost.This was
    an enjoyable and remindful write. Join our lost poems club
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/22/2012 10:52:00 AM)

    You have spoken so well and true for so many of us. It is so frustrating, but it is good to realize I am not the only one; thanks John! (Report) Reply

  • (11/23/2012 2:31:00 PM)

    I know the feeling I too have poems lost, but now I carry a notepad with me even to bed...just in case! ! (Report) Reply

  • (11/2/2012 3:13:00 PM)

    I think I may have enjoyed that one, John. Maybe you will remember it another time. Thanks for the great comments. (Report) Reply

  • Asif Andalib (10/16/2012 4:59:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem. It happened to me also. (Report) Reply

Read all 20 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poem Edited: Friday, October 12, 2012

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