Friday, December 14, 2012

"'Best Remembered' When Applied To A Poem Is A Fuzzy Expression" - Martin Gardner

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

The poem above was written by Hughes Mearns and it's called Antigonish. The author explained the title and meaning of the poem many years after writing it in 1899 as a college student.  It was inspired by a town named Antigona or Antigonia.  Mearns said that it could be taken as capturing the pain of women whose husbands are never home.

I discovered this poem and its background in a book that I am now the proud owner of - Best Remembered Poems, Edited and Annotated by Martin Gardner (pages 106-107).  It was given to me by a tenth grade student in our mystery Macabee exchange today.  Wow. What thoughtfulness and sensitive effort went into getting me this present.  I am quite grateful.  Thanks Brandon Koening!

Here's a sequel by the author:

As I was falling down the stair
I met a bump that wasn't there;
It might have put me on the shelf
Except I wasn't there myself


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