What We Had

A.F. Moritz

copyright ©2008 A.F. Moritz

I really did love you in a sense, colleagues,
friends and fellow citizens and passersby
of my day here, who stormed the smoking world,
struggling to plant your flags or at least be heard.
I looked at you with consistent and unfeigned
interest, delighted in the revelation
of your pointless variety. It was joy to know
myself a poet among so many who knew
it also, but kept it quiet – the one thing
you did keep quiet. So many males and females
of divers pretentions: fortified handmade heights
from which in rage and fear you each would look
downward at me and melt in love. And I
would melt too and would feel the sympathy
of living with you among the flowers and rocks,
and dream sometimes for long seconds on end
that all any of you wanted was blessèd life
for everyone, and me too. But she and I
clung to each other, comrades, and I understood
that you more truly were the storm, and though
the two of us are dead now, what we had
to do in life, in fact, was to survive you.

Notes on the Poem

Every week (for 190 weeks so far, but who's counting?) we share with you a Poem of the week taken from the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist anthologies. We include with each selection brief notes about some aspect of the poem that we found striking. We'd love to receive your responses to this week's poem, "What We Had" from the 2009 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize winning collection "The Sentinel" by A.F. Moritz. What feature of this poem pleases, provokes or intrigues you as a reader? Send us your concise and constructive reaction - as a comment on this web page, tweeted @griffinpoetry or posted to the Griffin Poetry Prize Facebook page - and you could win a copy of the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize anthology. Your notes can be the length of our typical "Notes on the Poem" (take a look through the archives for ideas), as pithy as a tweet, or anything in between. Send us your comments by Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 5:00 pm ET, and we'll select our favourite for the prize.

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