A Poet’s Edit

Going through my dad’s old writings, transcribing his poetry to be posted on his blog (coming soon!!), I found an edit of his and it really got to me.

Like, really affected me, like “a corkscrew to the heart.”



I’d never seen it before. Actually I probably had, but when Father was alive, so it didn’t throw me like it has now because it was his sentiment and his alone. Now that his emotions and experiences are in my care, I feel it all in my own way, like breathing in second-hand smoke and getting high off the fumes.

I found this heart-breaking, brutal, crushing, devastating, and so heavily steeped in truth I nearly drowned in it.

Not just any truth though; a unique kind of truth that can only be experienced and expressed by a romantic, hippie poet attempting to commit the torture of unrequited love to paper;

then discovering the poem years later, finding the pain of it still fresh on the page, still hurting the poet, again, despite the knowledge that he survived the pain and finds love again;

the confrontation of it, the shock of the memories of the love, woman, event, emotions, experience that were secreted away in an old notebook decades ago, the poet finds himself suddenly submerged in the heartbreak as if it broke yesterday;

deciding that (although the poem itself isn’t very good, isn’t a strong piece of art, doesn’t read well, has poor structure) the pain, the truth, the poem is important and should be included in his portfolio of poems;

attempting to edit the poem for publication, finding it too painful still, crossing out his declarative editorial note, deciding not to keep it, not to include it in his life’s work, not to face it again;

and yet, not destroying it, shredding, binning, or burning it. Closing the notebook and returning it to the dusty shelf.


It just… threw me. Really. The pain of unrequited love. The turmoil. The grief. The words. The poem. The acceptance. The growth. The survival. The truth.

The burying, the moving on, the forgetting. The living and loving and experiencing more and more and more.

The urge to organise one’s life works into some sort of manuscript. The rediscovery. The reflection. The remembering. The words again. The pain again. The realness of it. The truth.

I feel it. I think anyone with a soul would. But as a poet, a lover, a sufferer, a depressive, a realist, a truth-teller, as my father’s daughter, I feel it all the stronger. Especially the capital R of Real – that really punched me in the gut.

The words on this page have jolted me back to life; after feeling numb and apathetic for weeks, I can finally feel again. And it’s A LOT.

I hope to channel these overwhelming philosophical and corporeal concepts of love and pain and suffering and grief into new writing. It’s inspired me when I felt brain-dead hence my posting it here: let me know in the comments if it “gets ” to you or inspires you or rattles you or delights you too.

8 thoughts on “A Poet’s Edit

  1. When i saw the writing image..it got to me too.
    And reading through your work..it made me feel it even more
    This is so true and moving

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