Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Nostalgia

“Nostalgia is a seductive liar.”— George Ball


“Every act of rebellion expresses nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”— Albert Camus

“I was right when I said I’d never look back. It hurts too much, it drags at your heart till you can’t ever do anything else except look back.”— Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind

“Moments never stay, whether or not you ask them, they do not care, no moment cares, and the ones you wish could stretch out like a hammock for you to lie in, well, those moments leave the quickest and take everything good with them, little burglers, those moments, those hours, those days you loved the most.”— Catherine Lacey, Nobody Is Ever Missing

      Midweek Motif ~ Nostalgia

The word “nostalgia” comes from two Greek roots, nostos meaning ‘return home’ and algia ‘longing’. However neither poetry nor politics birthed the term, rather it came from ‘medicine’. In the seventeenth century nostalgia was considered as a curable disease, like a common cold.
 Nostalgia is a longing for a Place as well as for a Time.

We are ‘back to the good old days’ then. The feeling is almost, past was ‘Paradise’ compared to the ‘Fallen’ present. Is that so?

But who can deny that we keep a tender, gentle feeling for the long past as we age? Shortcomings of the past find our forgiving eyes. Time distance has a role to play may be.

Whether good or bad, we are dealing today with long past. Let’s weave our words with the thread of deep yearning for the bygone days of our experiences.

Yesterday all my troubles….
by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

by Billy Collins

Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
Marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
Of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farries for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

The 1790’s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
Time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

The Blade of Nostalgia
by Chase Twichell

When fed into the crude, imaginary
machine we call the memory,

the brain’s hard pictures
slide into the suggestive
waters of the counterfeit.

They come out glamorous and simplified,

even the violent ones,
even the ones that are snapshots of fear.

May be those costumed,
clung-to fragments are the first wedge

nostalgia drives into our dreaming.

May be our dreams are corrupted
right from the start: the weight

of apples in the blossoms overhead.

Even the two thin reddish dogs
nosing down the aisles of crippled trees,
digging in the weak shade

thrown by the first flowerers,
snuffle in the blackened leaves
for the scent of a dead year.

Childhood, first love, first loss of love-

the saying of their names
brings an ache to the teeth
like that of tears withheld.
                           (The rest is here)



 Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Fear)


  1. Sometimes the return is easy sometimes it is not. Good prompt - great to see you!

  2. An evocative prompt, Sumana, thank you. Mr Linky on strike?
    My poem:

  3. Oh where oh where
    has the linky thing gone?
    oh where oh where
    can it be?
    with our poems lined up
    and all ready to go
    oh please bring linky to me

  4. Here's mine Sumana, thanks for the great prompt...

    Here's mine too. Good prompt Sumana.

  6. Hi friends, Linky now is in working mood. Thanks for your participation :)

    1. Sorry for my forgetfulness, Sumana!

    2. Aw..Mary, don't know how to thank you for all you do :)

  7. Luv the Beatles. In my day of Beatles hype they were also called the 'mop heads'

    Peace love and Smiles and a Happy Wednesday to all .

    Thank you Sumana for a stunning prompt today

    much love...

  8. Loved the prompt. The poems are beautiful.

  9. Just posted one. Look forward to reading y'alls!

  10. I really enjoyed writing to this prompt. Thanks Sumana.

  11. Fashionably late to the prompt❤️ sharing my poem "Duologue" thank you Sumana for the lovely opportunity! xo

  12. A great prompt, Sumana. I will be back later...heading out in the sunshine to see some wild waves! (It is hard to get any work done, the waves keep calling!)

  13. My latest poem, written yesterday, is definitely nostalgic, though going back only 19 years.

  14. To all contributors: Bravo!

  15. This really brought some memories back for me. Glad I could take part this week!

    My biking has been spotty because of the storms but I got some great shots of rainbows. It was exhilarating riding in the storm yesterday.

    I'll be around to read. Enjoy the rest of the week. Hugs!

  16. The Blade of Nostalgia by Chase Twichell is an amazing, heart-wrenching poem. I LOVE this prompt. I'm late and will be later at getting around, Sumana. But I will, for sure.

  17. This prompt rightly fitted in my milestone poetry :)

  18. Replies
    1. There's no place to comment on your post. It was a nice poem. Please visit others.

  19. Yes, a wonderful prompt Sumana - I will be back to read more of these and back regularly - where they heck have I been...?... Ah this feels like home.


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