User Submitted Poem – The Good Old Days

It seems that one poetry submission lead to another! Today we’re looking at another user-submitted poem from Gibianainspiree (who’s blog you can visit at Lybdbibiana2013.Wordpress.Com. Her poem goes a little something like this:

Thinking about time
and the period of stone age
when everything seemed peaceful
all of my regrets
were nothing but emotions
now I am forgetting
when life gave me crystals.

Each time I remember the silence
and the contacts we made
it tickles so hard
to know that the past
is not the present.
The future I do not hate
neither is the present wasteful
but all I wish for,
is the good old days
when time was time
love gave the rhyme
adventure the treasures
and life a bed of roses.

All I miss right now
is the good old days.

When I read this poem, I feel like this poem is probably very personal with a lot of good feelings there for people to interpret, but it also has a deeper meaning that I can’t get at with just the words presented here alone. I like how it seems to contain a secret, but I can’t help but feel there’s a lot of intention within these lines that can pop out more with a few revisions.

I do see the past (stone age) and maybe the future in crystals, because they do take time to grow, but I don’t see what’s in the present between these two time periods before the speaker of the poem starts talking about the present not being “wasteful” without a lot of deep thought.

When interpreting a poem, it’s always good to assume everything you observe is the purpose of the writer for the speaker of the poem to convey, so I started pondering why we would go from stone, to emotions, to crystals. I feel that the speaker of the poem went from a solid state, like a stone that can be chipped away from but not added to, to a more turbulent and flourishing state, like a crystal, which grows. Maybe, then, I can interpret the “wasteful” the speaker feels is not the present is in reference to the energy it takes to grow rather than the lack of energy it takes to sit still as a stone.

While I can see the path from stone, to emotion[al energy?], to crystal, I still wish I had more than a few cliche lines for me to interpret as the energy. “Love gave me rhyme,” “life a bed of roses,” and even the title of the poem along with the last line “the good old days,” don’t really express anything, despite sounding pretty. “Love gave me rhyme,” may not be in itself cliche, but love giving someone anything in itself is cliche. And the idea that life is a bed of roses, with or without the use of the word “is,” isn’t an original expression of an old cliche either. I also don’t know what the good old days are; it is an open term that isn’t really defined by this poem. Are the good old days stone? What makes stone better than crystal?

I do see a lot of potential in this poem and I like a lot of the intelligent transformation properties of this work, I would love to see the writer revise some of the cliches out of the work and use some more original wording that tells the story of the emotions of now that takes the speaker from the stone past to the crystal future within the lines of this poem.

– Amanda Riggle

Amanda Riggle
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Amanda Riggle

Managing Editor at The Poetics Project
Amanda is the Managing Editor at The Poetics Project and of The Socialist, the national magazine of The Socialist Party USA, as well as the Lead Editor of Pomona Valley Review's upcoming 11th issue. She graduated with a BA in English Education and a minor in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in an English MA program with an emphasis in Literature. During her free time, Amanda enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling, crocheting, watching entire seasons of campy shows on Netflix, and, of course, writing blogs.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.

Amanda Riggle
Rarely use

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