On Forgotten Words




Looking for something to share for World Poetry Day last Saturday, I had a bizarre experience. Since buying an iPad, I have become more organised with my documents – I keep all my university work together, all of my other documents…and all of my poetry.

Over the last four months, there hasn’t been much new writing in the poetry folder. I’ve been writing my way through my grief, by hand. The benefits of that process are for another post, which I will write soon.

I found the piece that I ended up sharing, but I also found something else…

A poem dated 27th November, which I have no recollection of writing. I know exactly what the 27th of November means to me, so it’s no surprise…but I really couldn’t be sure that it was mine at all. So I began by Googling lines – after I’d searched each line of the first stanza, I became fairly sure that it was mine. Also asked a friend, to be on the safe side.

I am well aware that grief and rational memory are in cahoots – grief erases things that we don’t know we need at times. Still, it surprises me that I could end up having no idea about this very short 18-line poem. It has shades of all my recent influences in it, which almost convinced me that it isn’t mine.

However, I suppose it is a great tribute to those who have influenced me that they show up so clearly in my work. Rumi and Rilke both appear to be present in the imagery of the piece, which questions how easily we forget that we are made for something more than just going through life passively.

I’ve enjoyed the conversation taking place on my Facebook page, but I’m curious as to whether this has happened to anyone else. Have you ever found a piece months later, and forgotten that you wrote it? Let’s talk in the comments. 


5 comments on “On Forgotten Words

  1. Here from Nancy Stordahl’s blog comments section and often find things I’ve said and forgotten. My presence on the net is mostly as a ghostly and untethered commenter. Learned this from being a a discussion post ‘monitor’ in free online university and college courses. Though my memory has become worse with just-finished chemo, the push to remain ‘distributed’ and weakly tied I believe from the power of being in moments of unexpected inspiration. It could be a kind of self-confirmation to find things the urge us to respond, to be voice’full and unexpectedly ‘home’. Or more strangely, sounding familiar to ourselves. To paraphrase you: “tak[ing] comfort in the memories we [ourselves have] made.


    • Hi, Scott.

      Thank you for visiting. ‘the power of being in moments of unexpected inspiration’ – I really like that phrase. I hope you’ll come and visit again.

      Take care,



      • Casey, I’ll visit again for sure. Like Tara I tend to be inconsistent as my brain won’t sit still. Your poem Stones in the Road brought thoughts of bad memories too. I tend to walk away from them but as markers of human contact leaving the learning they contain–even the very worst ones–leaves a trail of incomplete opportunities like holes in our heart. Thanks for the reply back at you.


  2. I read a review that I did of a song … I was blown away at the clarity and profoundness of it. I have brain injuries so I’m not that profound (or clear) now. But, there was my avatar and it was a review for a musician who has become a virtual friend … it was me. I wrote it. I was kinda proud of myself. I read it over and over. So, I know exactly what you experienced. How can we write something and not remember, especially something so heartfelt. Maybe that is the key … we let our hearts speak without our minds getting in the way. You are so special to me. I’m a lousy virtual friend (worse one in real life) due to inconsistency, but I care and I’m so proud of all you have achieved. You keep trying. Steps forward, step back, steps forwards ( the forward steps outnumber those back). hugs, to you.


    • You’re a dear friend, Tara.

      I don’t know who I’d be if you hadn’t come into my life. ‘We let our hearts speak without our minds getting in the way.’ – probably exactly what was going on. I wrote the piece at the time of hearing of another dear friend’s passing.

      Take care, my friend.



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