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.