A Message Between Lovers

How full of fear are the streets tonight

How heavy the air with the smell of it

And still over it all flies a message between lovers

Come and meet me at the death of day

Beneath the sky glowing with the light of distant eyes

Watching our windows darken, our doors left ajar

And we will hear the last song of the world together

Quiet and still this night burns on

And all around us is reborn from its ashes

A city we’ve known only in dreams

Walk with me through these crystal streets

Alone in a sea of strange new faces

Who watch the skies clear and unending

For some sign that the truth is hidden there

We alone living a memory of all that came before

Have you ever gone back to re-read a book you were made to study in school? Did your opinion of it change? The first one that came to mind for me is 1984 by George Orwell. As a ninth grader reading it, I wasn’t very interested in the plot and completely skipped over (spoilers) the excerpts from Goldstein’s book that Winston is given.

A few months ago I re-read it and was enthralled from beginning to end. Orwell’s prose is enchanting, and I was so much more aware of the parallels he had crafted between Oceania and our own modern world, or rather the world he predicted his era was heading for. Even my perception of the Goldstein excerpts had changed from dry and boring to piercing and clear.

Anyone else have a similar experience with 1984 or another book?

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels

18 thoughts on “A Message Between Lovers

  1. brother craig

    Valid observations, and true for most I imagine. At 56 I’ve seen most of the many and profound changes within me by watching the changes in my reactions to old, familiar books, movies, music, etc. It is a fascinating experience. Probably the best subjective lens of introspection on changes within us that is available.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. R.E. Ray

    First, a remarkable poem. We often forget we share the same sky with millions of others, especially loved ones not at our side.

    Second, yes, I’ve gone back to the bookshelves and library for some high school and college reads. I have a greater appreciation now, after living decades beyond school. We don’t realize when we first read those books, stories and poems that they were/are people like us, thriving and struggling as fellow human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much (: we’ll put.

      Definitely! A few times I’ve learned something about an author as I got older that completely changed the way their work resonated with me. It was hard to see the person behind it all back in the high school days.

      Like

  3. Great poem, it would do us all good to turn our gaze upward and share the wonder of the sky.
    I’ve re-read 1984, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice, Of Mice and Men and many other books that I read in school. They get better with time, the absence of grading requirements and real life experience. There are several others that I want to read again, I’m sure that I’ll appreciate them more now than I did then.
    I remember when I read 1984 in high school, that it made me angry how people were manipulated in every aspect of their lives. I posited a theory that the vid screens had the capacity to read the thoughts of the people and that was how people were being caught committing thought crimes. I still get a little angry when I think about people not having the freedom of thinking there own thoughts. Don’t even get me started on double-speak!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1984 is definitely a book I’ll read again and again throughout the years. I had similar reactions to the manipulation, and doubly so when it was something that so clearly is reflected in the world we live in. Orwell warned us, and we ended up in Oceania anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic poetry!
    I read “The Physicists” by Dürrenmatt twice and while I didn’t understand most of it in the first run in 7th grade, I cracked up laughing several times in class when reading it again a few years later. Definitely a piece of german literature I recommend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The fragrance of peace is interesting, meeting at light when everything is agreeable, listening to something supreme, heaven on earth, everything familiar, with a new interest again and again. Something to participate in for sure. Hallelujah.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lovely thought-provoking poem with a subtly powerful surge to it. Nicely done. As for your book question, I recently re-read “Big Red” by Jim Kjelgaard. I loved it as a boy and believe it to be one of the inspirations that nudged me toward writing. Turns out I loved it as an adult, too. The other inspirational push came from “Moccasin Trail” by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Oddly enough, like the characters in that story I also ended up in Oregon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much! (: I did the same thing recently and re-read The Phantom Tollbooth, which I had been absolutely enthralled by as a kid. It can be such a powerful experience to go back to the things that inspired us as children—which you’ve experienced personally!

      Liked by 1 person

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