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It's Her Voice That Haunts Me Now - a Forgotten Modern Poetry Classic?

Updated on February 20, 2019

In the mid 1990's, I can recall reading a weekend newspaper (I think it was the Mail on Sunday) and detailed among the myriad of articles were results of a national amateur poetry competition, sponsored by the newspaper were published. The winning poem was by a sports journalist from Kent, England by the name of Stephen Constable. In the next couple of days, BBC radio news broadcast nationally details of the competition and the English actress Joanna Lumley read the poem on air.

Despite, in my ignorant early 20's, never being particularly drawn to poetry, I still remember vividly reading each beautifully crafted line in that newspaper and marveling at the fragile and tender words the author had chosen Maybe it just captured a vulnerable moment for me and recalled a lost or unrequited love from my earlier years, but it pretty much reduced me to tears as, to me, it appears to capture a resonating moment in time. I immediately cut out the article, but the original has long since been lost, but perhaps still inserted in a lost book, hopefully ready to be rediscovered gem by some unsuspecting reader in the future!.

I mentioned in the title that this poem appears to be a "lost" classic and that indeed appears to be the case. Although it was published in a collection of poems in 1996 in a book titled with the same name, there appears to be only a couple of mentions of the poem itself on the Internet, which, like it or not, seems to be today's bedrock of pooled knowledge One brief historic article from that time details authors award for the poem and the other, an individual asking if anybody knew any details of the poem, as they couldn't find anything relating to it. To me at least, I think it is a tragedy that this incredible poem has disappeared from the public consciousness and that surely a poem should be shared and enjoyed by all (i.e if there are any reproduction issues, I'll happily remove the article)

Thankfully, I copied out the verses, in case of such an eventuality, and occasionally chance upon it in a cupboard, as it did so recently, and each time I sit and read it and for that moment, as in each time before, the world stops around me and I hope it does the same for you?

"It's Her Voice That Haunts Me Now" By Stephen Constable

It's voice that haunts me now,

through all the years

I feel her whisper take me by the ears;

speaking words of - almost - love

(but just denying me that final, blessed, trust)

I hear her echo, clearly, in my head,

even when forgetting,

what she said.

It's her voice that haunts me now,

her touch is gone

forever from my sense, but, ringing on

her laughter thrills my heart again

and keen, to dream of how else fortune might have been,

I wish away the pain, once more buguiled,

even when forgetting,

how she smiled.

It's her voice that haunts me now,

as passion palls

her portrait fades, neglected, on the walls

of memory, and then she breathes

so sharp, so real, so near again that I can feel her

presence, just as long before,

even when forgetting

what she wore.

It's her voice that taunts me now,

I cannot tell

how good she tasted when we kissed

her smell, was sweet but drifted from me

on the breeze of time,

yet her "goodbye" returns to freeze my soul anew

and still I feel bereft,

even when forgetting

why she left

I hope you agree that it is indeed a beautiful poem and a tragedy that it is not more widely known. Apologies if there are any inaccuracies with punctuation, as it was reproduced from any old hand written copy. Would love to know your thoughts?


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