An antidote of sorts to last week's poems on depression:
(Poem #874) Sometimes
Sometimes things don't go, after all, from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail. Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war, elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor. Some men become what they were born for. Sometimes our best intentions do not go amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to. The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.
[Commentary from the Poet] I wasn't ever going to put this on my site, because I'm sick of it. But I still get a lot of email asking for information about it so perhaps this will save time! Besides, it appears on a lot of people's web sites, generally misquoted - at least this will be as it's meant to read. I wrote it back in the eighties and it appeared in my Selected Poems, which has recently been reprinted by Seren, whom you can contact at. It was then included in Poems on the Underground and has since appeared on the trams of Helsinki and the Metro in St Petersburg (there's a good Russian translation on Vitali Ashkinazi's web site. Actually I prefer Vitali's version to the original and one day I might translate it back). It featured in a BBC Radio 4 programme called The Secret Life of Poems. It has been used by several charities and political organisations, including Charter 88 (for refugees); it has been read during the Irish peace negotiations and in the South African parliament, has been set to music by several people and quoted in other books (most lately appearing in the autobiography of the man in the white suit, Martin Bell). Despite all this, it wasn't political, nor is it about depression, though a lot of clinically depressed people think it is. It isn't even basically very optimistic. It was originally written about a sportsman who had a drug problem and it expressed the hope that he might eventually get over it - because things do go right sometimes, but not very often... But it isn't anywhere near skilful or subtle enough and I would cheerfully disown it, if people didn't now and then write to me saying it had helped them. By the way, you might also care to know that I originally wrote "the sun will sometimes melt a field of snow" (the sportsman's drug of choice was cocaine). But I mistyped "sorrow" for "snow" and then decided I liked that better. I believe in letting the keyboard join in the creative process now and then. Anyway, here's the text, and if you like it, I'm pleased for you, but I'd be more pleased if you liked something else better! -- Sheenagh Pugh, [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/sheenaghpugh/sometimes.html [Commentary from Me] This is the sort of poem that puts a gleam into the eyes of manufacturers of greeting-cards everywhere <grin>. No, I take that back. The fact that commercialization often cheapens true emotion should not be used to denigrate the emotion itself. And the poem _is_ a good one: sincere, honest, and more than a little bit touching. Not overly subtle (the poet herself deprecates it for this reason), but it doesn't have to be; it says what it wants to say beautifully and well. Who could ask for more? thomas. [Links] Sheenagh Pugh has a website, [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/sheenaghpugh/ We've run one poem of hers before, "The Beautiful Lie". It's archived at poem #792