Wednesday, 20 January 2010


“The past is not a package one can lay away.” - Emily Dickinson

Readers of this blog may remember me mentioning on a couple of occasions that I have been in the habit of keeping journals and visual diaries for a few decades now. Occasionally when I have a clean-up around the house I will find a mysterious box all taped up and marked “N’s personal papers”. It more often than not contains some of these journals and diaries. It happened last weekend when I was cleaning my study that I shifted some furniture allowing me to get into a little cupboard under one of my bookcases. I had not been able to open this cupboard fully for several years. In it I found one of these “personal papers” packages that I mentioned and I spent a couple of hours immersed in browsing through its contents and reading some of what I had written ages ago – ah, youth!

This experience stimulated me to write the poem below.

Pages from the Past

A notebook by pure chance discovered,
Brings back old pages from the past;
As my experiences lie bare, uncovered
My feelings backwards are cast.

The even script, my younger self belies
My thoughts of yore, there are manifest.
Old tears, laughter, truths and even lies
Appear in pages, like flowers pressed.

My heart’s first stirrings faithfully recorded
The bitter disappointments, and the sheer joy;
I read, and on the train of the past boarded,
Travel to foreign parts of me, when a boy.

My inner being revels and perfectly resonates
With my younger self, my innocence engaged;
I look at my lined face, surprised that the fates
Have willed a youth, in body so much aged.

My pages from the past, the yellowed paper,
The mind’s awakening and the soul’s flight
Captured forever, and their evanescent vapour
Wafts in, a sweet aroma, a bright light…

Jacqui BB hosts Poetry Wednesday.


  1. Enjoyed your poem.
    I spent yesterday looking back at the past...through scrapbooks of my children.

  2. What a delightful, poignant poem and thank you for the insight you give into the way you had your inspiration to write it. I am fascinated by the way that people create and what triggers them to do it.