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OLD POETRY AND THE THINGS WE REMEMBER

October 15, 2009
By

parnassus_cover_2005_207x270Wally, A friend from college sent me a note on Facebook today about how he remembered a line from a poem I’d had published in the school’s literary magazine around twenty years ago (It was in the parnassus 89 issue).  It’s amazing to think that he not only remembered the line, but that he remembered I had written it.  He said that someone had posted something about their car’s first scratch and that reminded him of the line from my poem about getting the first scratch on a new pair of shoes.

It’s funny what things we remember from our past.  Often I can’t remember what I did a week or even a day ago.  I can’t even remember something I’ve said minutes later.  But Wally remembers something he read twenty years ago.

I went down to my writing files and found the magazine (my wife is excellent at organizing).  I looked up the poem and thought I might scan it for everyone to see, but having read it for the first time in twenty years, I’ve decided to keep it to myself.  However, the line that Wally remembered was this:

White tennis shoes with stripes on the side
Become gray or an off-white in the near future.
That first scuff on the toe… it always hurts the most.

You’ll be glad that I spared you the rest.

It made me feel good to know that Wally had remembered something I’d written.  While I wouldn’t consider it my best work, I would say that one of the greatest compliments you can give a writer is quoting or paraphrasing their work.    Maybe one of the best compliments you can give a friend is remembering a moment in the past that the two of you shared together and then reminiscing with that friend for a moment.  That’s probably one of the greatest things about Facebook; that we get to reminisce.  It allows us to bring the good things of the past into our present.  It’s nice to remember and be remembered.

What are some of the random things that you remember from long ago?  Why do you think you remember them?  Who were the people involved in those memories?  Please share.

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4 Responses to OLD POETRY AND THE THINGS WE REMEMBER

  1. Mike Potter on October 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

    From the same time period and more random than Wally remembering your poem: For the last 20 years, I’ve had a very hard time getting a line from an African mens choir song out of my mind and off my tongue. They sang these words so loudly during a morning chapel that we all laughed hysterically…and then mimicked it hundreds of times afterward. Do you remember, “Bunga Bunga Bunga Bun Bun-ga!”?

  2. Jackodile on October 19, 2009 at 11:48 am

    As I said, it’s funny what we remember. I don’t remember that line (but I’m sure I was at that chapel :)), but I do remember that when your door was broken someone put a Band-Aid on it.

  3. Wally on December 10, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Hey Jack, I just saw this. You’re too modest. That was a great line and I’ve used it more than a few times. I remember once a new co-employee getting in trouble for the first time and I told them its just like getting that first scratch on a pair of sneakers. Just like the Jack Lugar poem, I thought to myself.

  4. Jackodile on December 10, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Thanks Wally. I still marvel at the fact that you remember that line, but I guess it is a pretty good simile for some of life’s disappointing moments.

    I’m glad you saw the post.

    Jack

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