Memories From the Past…

Mr. Darcy

Sometimes being in ones 70’s is a uniquely weird experience. I often wonder if strange things happen simply because I’m getting older, or if life in general is just really bizarre. Perhaps people notice things more clearly as they age.

Today it all started when I heard the sound of rain on the back window of my condo, and I rushed to check it out just to make sure there wasn’t a leak coming from the unit above me. My cat, Mr. Darcy was sitting on the dresser totally mesmerized by humongous droplets colliding against the glass.

And as the rain became increasingly louder, for some reason I started to recite, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” putting extra emphasis on “Water water everywhere nor any drop to drink”, all while Mr. Darcy rubbed his furry face in mine.

I then proceeded to tell him about Samuel Taylor Coleridge (the poem’s author), and about all the Romantic poets. Obviously, my cat was genuinely interested in my literary lesson…😻

But, I began to wonder how I could recall and recite an epic poem (lyrical ballad) that I learned back in high school, when I have difficulty remembering what I ate for breakfast this morning. I even had to rack my brain this afternoon to recall if I put my clothes in the dryer. But, somehow I could still remember large portions of the longest poem Coleridge ever wrote.

How is it that I can vividly recount information about Byron, Shelly, Keats, Blake and Wordsworth, and even giggle like a school girl realizing I STILL have a crush on George Gordon Byron (Aka Lord Byron), who died in 1824 after writing such magical lines as, “She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies…”

And yet I’ll forget whether or not I took my allergy pill today. Sheesh!

Is it because I’m 71? Or maybe it’s because the breathtaking beauty of perfectly strung together words are so exquisite, that once they are heard, they can never be forgotten.

Is it that outstanding poetry or prose endures though the centuries and stays within each soul it touches? Does it linger on in the cosmos for eternity?

My cat, Mr. Darcy thinks that is the case, and so do I.

Today the rest of America is thinking about the super bowl. Not me. I’m remembering…

“Though the heart be still as loving,

And the moon be still as bright…

By the way, don’t you just love a cat who enjoys poetry?😻😻😼🙀

35 thoughts on “Memories From the Past…

  1. Thank you. He is named after my favorite literary hero! This Mr. Darcy is a rescue kitty that was found outside after a hurricane. He was about 4 or 5 months old when he was captured. His mother was feral and his rescuers felt he was sweet enough to find a home for. My other three cats had died of old age one by one and after a few years of being without a pet I decided to rescue this fellow. He is quite different from any cat Ive ever had. He is not affectionate at all. But he follows me around everywhere, won’t let me hold him. He hides to eat his food as if he still has to keep it safe from predators. He isn’t cuddly at all and yet he will sleep next to me at night and lies by my chair in the evening when I watch TV. He is part Maine coon so he is huge and quite a character. He chirps in stead of meows. He makes a lovely companion during the pandemic and I am so happy I saved him from being out in the wild.


  2. What an extraordinary story about you father! Music, poetry, etc. come from the heart and perhaps stay with us longer than anything else. Like a special microchip in the brain that keeps on working.perhaps…If our soul never dies then maybe our most cherished memories linger on forever too.
    BTW, I realized I didn’t remember all the stanzas to Mariner, (I reread it and I left out quite a few), Lol but I recalled enough that I was thrilled. It’s like that with special song lyrics too. And plays I acted in. Somewhere in my brain, there’s a file for what I e memorized. if Romeo and Juliet comes on TV I remember every line that Juliet says and also the character opposite hers since I had to know when to jump in. Lol
    I had a 7th grade English teacher who made us memorize poems. To this this day I can recite “If” by Kipling. And I had a history teacher who made us memorize the Gettysburg Address. You guessed it,I still know it. It’s a good thing I don’t have to memorize things today. Lol I rely on Seri and my phone for everything! Haha
    Good to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Leslie – so impressive! Pretty awesome after all these years!! They say memorization is one of the best things you can do to keep your mind sharp!! You have really been active in plays and memorizing. I think the only poem I know by heart is Robert Frost’s – The Road Not Taken.
      Not anywhere close to your prowess! I will have to go and read Kipling’s – IF. He was such a great writer. It is sad that memorization has fallen out of favor and not needed because of electronics. Only those in the performance arts are required to do it anymore!

      So happy to hear that you are doing well and to have you back on WP!!
      Great Sharing with you, Dear!
      xoxox 😘💕💖🌹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still good friends with a gal from that English class and we were talking about that poem the other day. She still remembers it too. We had to stand up and recite it. We both remember all the poems from his class. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow!! What an awesome post, Lesley!! I loved it! I loved the “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” from high school too! Can’t recite it like you, except it’s most famous line! It is funny that the mind works as you described it. Remembering from the long ago past while not recalling what happen just minutes in the past. That is a common experience for those of us who are older!! The last memory of my father is of me playing some old hymns from the hymnal on the piano and my father, with extreme Alzheimer’s, suddenly started singing the lyrics in time and on key (he used to sing in the church choir and in quartets). It was the last time I saw him. He could also still remember his time as a child of 6 in India in the 1930’s where my grandparents were missionaries.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!!
    xoxox 😘💕🌹🎁✨

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To this day I can still hear the magnificent voice of Richard Burton when he recited The Ancient Mariner. I was a year younger than most at high school and my mother had just passed away and at 14 was not coping with John Donne, Chaucer, or Coleridge. So my Dad came home from work one day with this tape of Burton. OMG. Changed my outlook forever.
    Thank you for the memories:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! What a story. Isn’t it amazing what poetry can do to sooth the soul. I was able to see Burton a couple years before he passed away play the role of Arthur in Camelot. It was my second date with my late husband. Yes, that incredible voice!
      Enjoy hearing him again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe it’s a combination of age, the beauty of the poetry, and the very specialness of being Lesley!

    Re using WP, so far – knock on wood – I haven’t encountered the problems so many others have experienced. In the side bar on the Stats page, I go to the Post menu, then All Posts, then the drop down menu in the top left called Add New, then I click on Classic Editor. The interface that I’ve always used comes up and away I go. I just hope this lasts!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too! And as a reading specialist who worked with struggling students, it was a thrill when I had taught with it before their teacher used it in class and one of my students explained it to the class! It was a huge source of pride for him that he could explain personification.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Ruth. I had so much trouble with WordPress today. It wouldn’t let me add then wouldn’t let me post, Honestly, this site is now very frustrating and difficult to maneuver. Any tips?


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