Sunday Poetry: As It Is Remembered

Welcome to Sunday Poetry.  If this is your first visit you can read about the purpose and inspiration of my Sunday blogs here.

Today is September 11th, and the poem, Heaven by Patrick Phillips, is in honor of all who live on only in memories.  Phillips gives us a poignant image of the afterlife to ponder.  What is your own vision of heaven?  Does Phillips’s give you a strange lump in the throat as it did me?  Do you want to relive the past you “remember,” eternally, and not the one that may actually have occurred?

I loved the simplicity of this poem, but also its power and the images it created.  And you?

Remember there are no quizzes here, no right ways to read or contemplate the poem we share.  No dissecting allowed.  Just come along for the “read,” and enjoy the experience.    What line or word or thought will you carry along with you this week?  And if you’d like to tell us where the poem took you?  We’ll listen.


  1. Liz on September 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    On reading your post, I reflected on which poem best encompassed 9/11 for me and returned repeatedly to John Donne’s Meditation XVII —

    The more cited lines are “no man is an island” and “for whom the bell tolls”, but reading Meditation XVII today, I was drawn to the following:
    “[A]ll mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another. …”
    May His loving hand bring solace.

  2. Wanda on September 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

    When I first read this poem the thought that came to mind was not a thought, but a picture in my mind of my grandmother standing in her kitchen. Things fromt eh past, flashes of memory came through my mind. People I have loved and lost over the years, both literally and figuratively. My husband and I chose to celebrate life yesterday. We rode our tandem over twenty-five miles, racing at twenty-five miles per hour part of the time. Thankful to be a live and yet remembering all who were lost ten years ago. The memory of yesterday will stay with me for a long time as it was also the last time I will see my youngest son for a few months as he leaves this morning for boot camp and I will miss him very much. Thinking of this reminds me of how bless I am that my loss is only temporary and fleeting in life compared to those whose losses were eternal in this life. They will meet again in another time, but for now all the living have left are the memories of the past.

    • Emilie Richards on September 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Thank you, Wanda, for sharing your feelings about this poem.

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