Guest poem sent in by Swati Chaudhary
(Poem #1945) Simplify Me When I'm Dead
Remember me when I am dead Simplify me when I am dead. As the process of earth strip off the colour and the skin take the brown hair and the blue eye and leave me simpler than at birth, when hairless I came howling in as the moon came in the cold sky. Of my skeleton perhaps so stripped, a learned man may say "He was of such a type and intelligence," no more. Thus when in a year collapse particular memories, you may deduce from the long pain I bore the opinion I held, who was my foe and what I left, even my appearance but incidents will be no guide. Time's wrong way telescope will show a minute man the years hence and by distance simplified. Through the lens see if I seem substance or nothing: of the world deserving mention or charitable oblivion not by momentary spleen or love into decision hurled leisurely arrive at an opinion. Remember me when I am dead and simplify me when I am dead.
Here's a poem that I first read in high school and which spurred my consequent obsession with poetry. The reason I really like Keith Douglas is because of his rawness of emotion. It is almost as if his poems document the very moment when a truth must have become evident to him. It is possible that this is so because all we have are his early works -- lacking the maturity or perhaps, the practice that comes with age, due to his untimely death. best swati chaudhary [Links] Biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Douglas