About the Dead Man and Books

The novel “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. Roma...

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Submitted to One Shot Wednesday: http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/

About the Dead Man and Books

“What haunts me,” said the dead man
to his wife whose ashes mingled with
his own, “are books I’ve never read—
the ones that puzzle. Think of War and
Peace. Names unfamiliar, trouble-
some to pronounce. And then those books
I never finished. Did you ever notice,
my dear? Generations of the same (or almost
so) names in One Hundred Years of
Solitude. And don’t forget the year
we pledged to read a book-a-week.
Recall how our resolve dissolved
before January expired? Do you suppose, my
sweet, we’ll have another chance when
we come back? Or might we be illiterate.”

More about the Dead Man and Books

“What haunts me more,” the dead man said
for no one else to hear, “are books I never
wrote—ideas fanned to life by life,
allowed to fade ere pen I put to page.
The words of wisdom and of praise
or prayer, sheets of blank paper yellowing
untouched, waiting to fulfill a mission
left undone. And then as rigor silenced
my old hands, as flames engulfed
my thoughts, I lie in waiting for whatever
lies beyond. Do you suppose, my Self,
I’ll have another chance when I come back?
Or might I be illiterate?

18 thoughts on “About the Dead Man and Books

  1. Kavita says:

    This was truly one of the most unique poems I have EVER read!!! And excellent too!! I don’t think I could have expected such a piece from anyone other than you, Victoria…
    I liked how you’ve portrayed man’s ruminations, and his conversations with his beloved, and himself… Brilliant work..really!!


  2. Rajlakshmi says:

    thats an interesting write… it can also be interpreted as the things we missed and the things we never said … lost in our lives we realize it very late …
    I loved the view from dead man’s side… brilliant.


  3. Andreas says:

    beautiful and playful. clarity of vision. well-written.


  4. Talon says:

    This was wonderful…

    All not read or written…a reminder to make the most of the time we have to soak up as much and create as much as we can…


  5. trisha says:

    If i am not wrong i commented on it yesterday, its not funny! 😦

    a wonderful poem. loved reading it, his interactions were sure very much interesting.


  6. trisha says:

    What happened to my comment on the post?


    • I sure haven’t deleted any of yours, Trisha, but I am in a world of pain with Internet connectivity here in the desert. I love and appreciate your comments. Not sure that I remember reading one of this poem except the one where you thought you had already commented. Love to you.


  7. short poems says:

    Very well written poem, enjoyed it!


  8. gospelwriter says:

    I love this – these questions; especially I love the “What haunts me more” part, the “books I never wrote” – me too, me too. Well done!


  9. booguloo says:

    Now that I write.. The years wasted in front of a television.. Where’s my pen..?


  10. bkmackenzie says:

    It is a very different form – I saw another one use it with a dead woman – and liked hers…now yours….love your use of books read, books written…the questions we ask even in living….there is not enough time in any one life ….hopefully there will be more…hopefully….bkm


    • A while back, Big Tent Poetry gave this form as a prompt. You may want to check out more of them. At that time I really didn’t want to do it, but after reading others I did a dead woman one!


  11. I liked the form–that quote drew me in. Nice!


  12. hedgewitch says:

    You know I kind of dislike this form, Victoria, but I like very much how you’ve used it here. Your dead man has some thoughts worth expressing., and he speaks quite without pretension. Enjoyed it.


    • I had a real hard time at first when Big Tent Poetry gave this form as a prompt. But once I tried it I liked it. Maybe my morbid mind thinking of what I’ll think about when I die.Ha!


  13. I often wonder!
    How much is appropriate? Money, Knowledge, health, power and so on.
    How much should be spent and how much be left for posterity.
    What is wisdom? Learning from others’ mistakes, learning from our mistakes.
    How much should we know and how much should we write?
    What we read and write- worth of it the paper used for and time spent on it?
    Your dead couple seem to have gone the grave with same questions.
    Well said.


  14. waystationone says:

    nice. as an avid reader and writer…i understand the haunting…smiles. nice one shot…


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