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The Old Book of Poetry

Updated on December 8, 2011

When I was a child myself, in class 4 or 5,
the childhood curiosity took me to a wooden box
and I managed to open that somehow and found some old books.
I kept a few of them including this book of poems.
This was my father's book which he read in class X.
The book some how traveled along with me in my life.
Recently my daughter in class XII got this book from
the shelves and when she came to knew that
it was her grandpa's book she was emotional
as she could not see him.
He passed away 3 moths before she was born.
She wrote this poetry and I just refined that.
I scanned a few pages to give a feel of its age.

Last night I was kind of restless

Searching, missing, something

Not known

Gazing, looking around, thoughts wandered

I was glancing, cursory

In that trance, state of mind

To the bookshelf, framed in wood and glass

I got stuck on a strange color, hidden, neglected

In rows of the book, neatly stacked and lined

I do not know what pulled me

Towards that book which was different, out of time,

It was a small book

Tattered, old, stained, crumbling pages

A book of English poetry and prose

As I felt the pages, my finger tips sighed

The age of the book, richness of pages,

I was simply overwhelmed

A second Edition by Macmillan & Co. Ltd

First published in 1903, reprinted in 1904 and 1908

Even before the country, India, was born

Or most of the humans living on earth as of now

It was my grandpa’s book

Survived through ages, events, the wheel of times

A compilation of poems, beautiful

Cascading like tributaries of a river

Lo! One of them was taught in school

As early as last week end!

As I leafed through it,

I saw my grandpa’s handwriting

Oh God! It almost resembled mine.

The side notes, meaning of the words, penciled

I went into the past, imagined

Feelings choked nerves and arteries

Grandpa so young, reading, brooding

Struggling with form, tenor and meaning

He would have given love, care and candies

Would have helped me stand

During the moments

When all looked lost, given up

He could have seen my face

And I would have cherished his memories

I was immensely sad, melancholic

A stream of love from deep inside

On that gloomy evening

A kind of reunion, getting connected

To him for entire life

Through an old book of poetry

Even though I was unfortunate

Not to meet him, feel him

He left this world before I arrived


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    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 

      6 years ago

      Great writing! Voted up!

    • Evylyn Rose profile image

      Evylyn Rose 

      6 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Ah, that makes much more sense. I am looking forward to seeing the scanned pages!

    • gary dube profile imageAUTHOR

      gary dube 

      6 years ago from India

      It was written by my daughter, I refined it.. Country means India which was born on 15th August 1947.. I will work on this. The book belonged to my father and I plan to scan a few pages and cover and and upload it to get the feel of the age

      The poem will be enriched further.

      Thanx for kind words.. It will do wonders to my enthu!

    • Evylyn Rose profile image

      Evylyn Rose 

      6 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Beautiful poem! I did get stuck on one part though: "First published in 1908, first edition in 1906 Even before the country was born" What country are we talking about here? You did a wonderful job communicating the emotions of the moment. :)

    • sankari.nayagam profile image


      6 years ago

      after reading this I remembered a poem which my grandfather told me. though my poem sounded simple it had a lot of value in it. hope you also would have found lot of values in it. your poem was a treat to read!

    • gary dube profile imageAUTHOR

      gary dube 

      6 years ago from India

      Thanx for encouragement

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I really love this poem gary dube, how you show the passage of time, the feeling of something lost and found, the joy of feeling your grandfathers young presence in the handwritten notes he made on the pages of this old book of poetry, so many layers to this poem, yes sad, but truly profound and meaningful to discover such a connection to your past, and his. Regards, snakeslane


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