Mementos, 1 Poem by William De Witt Snodgrass

Mementos, 1

Rating: 4.1


Sorting out letters and piles of my old
Canceled checks, old clippings, and yellow note cards
That meant something once, I happened to find
Your picture. That picture. I stopped there cold,
Like a man raking piles of dead leaves in his yard
Who has turned up a severed hand.

Still, that first second, I was glad: you stand
Just as you stood—shy, delicate, slender,
In that long gown of green lace netting and daisies
That you wore to our first dance. The sight of you stunned
Us all. Well, our needs were different, then,
And our ideals came easy.

Then through the war and those two long years
Overseas, the Japanese dead in their shacks
Among dishes, dolls, and lost shoes; I carried
This glimpse of you, there, to choke down my fear,
Prove it had been, that it might come back.
That was before we got married.

—Before we drained out one another’s force
With lies, self-denial, unspoken regret
And the sick eyes that blame; before the divorce
And the treachery. Say it: before we met. Still,
I put back your picture. Someday, in due course,
I will find that it’s still there.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Tom Allport 12 January 2017

our lives are made of mixed memories, this is a very powerful poem remembering some?

3 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 12 January 2017

One another's force! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

2 1 Reply
Lantz Pierre 12 January 2017

The waves of horror and revulsion, of, oh I don't want to say sentimental nostalgia, something deeper, more meaningful than that. The tenderness before the relationship is overturned in a deluge of bitter memories. The memories, the memories before those memories, and the memories waiting still somewhere down the road. The memories are who we are as humans. To lose them is to lose ourselves. This poem is a brief concert of memories and emotions, with key lilting phrases that build and support, submerge and change. A barb driven deep, a scar that one touches shuddering with a fond rememberance of who we are.

2 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 12 January 2017

Well-written poem+++++++++++++ Thanks for sharing++++++++++

2 0 Reply
Tom Allport 12 January 2017

a very powerful poem about remembering real events.

2 0 Reply
Hope 10 May 2021

What do you think were the main function of the speaker in his office

0 1 Reply
Daniel Hernandez 24 January 2018

One of the bests poems this is loved by many.

1 0 Reply
Susan Williams 12 January 2017

Superb and harrowing poem- - every word the perfect choice, every image burned into the reader's mind. Favorite Poem List.

3 0 Reply
M Asim Nehal 12 January 2017

Very well written poem. Thanks for sharing it.

1 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 12 January 2017

A trip down the memory lane and revisiting moments of joy, anguish etc.

1 0 Reply
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