before he bowed to age,
he sieved his syllables from books,
he still believed
his puzzle could be laid;
now — he listens to the sand
and has ceased to search
for missing pieces,
Mish hosts the Quadrille tonight at dVerse. A Quadrille is inthis case a poem of exactly 44 words containing the given word.
July 30, 2018
Ah Bjorn….first stanza I thought we were perhaps coming to a visit with the librarian again.
There is a sadness to this piece….the elder ceasing to search for pieces…many of them mislaid or forgotten.
Another jinx! We have the same title! I love your poem, Bjorn – it has to be the librarian bowed to age and sieving his syllables from books.
I saw we had the same title… maybe we have laid too many puzzles in our days.
This is so sad. It reminds me of elderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s trying to piece their memories together.
I was actually thinking more about how life is always shorter than the time needed to put all the pieces into their right places… but I see how it can also be dementia.
I would watch my mother struggling before she became non=verbal. She would try to say a word, like jacket. You could see the frustration in her eyes as she tried to pull the word forward, to put it into a sentence. Heartbreaking.
A sad, yet truthful tale is this; smile. I think in the second stanza it should be “and has ceased” not “have” –at least to my ear. I’ve always been amazed how well you do writing in English.
You are so right.. this is now corrected.
Such a sadness to this and you’re right about how things are always left unfinished at the end of a life, no matter how much has been achieved.
I think it’s even sadder when you one day can say that now there is nothing more to add in this life… I think we need to leave with some unfinished business.
When I can’t find a puzzle piece I assume it is lost. Nice phrase: “sieved his syllables from books”
This is so sad and yet beautiful at the same time!
There are more interesting and rewarding things to do with life than fiddle around with puzzles. I’m sure that’s the conclusion your elder has come to.
Very sad, Björn
There is a beautiful sense of wistful longing in this one, Bjorn 💜 love the image of “sieved his syllables from books.” ☺
I like the sieving of syllables from books. Very nice!! It does slow down as we age.
“he sieved his syllables from books”
Oh, my. **she swoons**
How life changes us – our aspirations and perspectives. Interesting.
the triumph or the decline? to simply know when it’s best to leave things alone, or to purposefully release —
clearly, sitting and reading this poem offers us different interpretations, from the aging and what we lose, to memories fading or taken by disease, or simply knowing we are running out of time –
and since there are no clear directions, we are left to choose and simply sit with the intensity of the feelings here, so well chosen for your words Bjorn, and this makes this poem all the heavier but light for the reading; this is very well penned and a pleasure to read and savour 🙂
“sieved his syllables” love it!
I wonder why the theme of age has come up so much recently?
looped me in from bowing to the age part – and the rest – deep and rich
I really like the contrast of laying puzzle pieces (order) to sand and missing pieces (disorder). Powerful and moving (full of motion).
So many puzzles to solve and not enough time. I’m one to always want the answers. Those missing pieces can be frustrating but we can squander our time looking for them.
I especially love “sieved his syllables” .
What a wonderful job–to sieve syllables from books. I think a wise soul finds joy in the sifting itself, rather than what may come after.
I am not alone in my reflection of this line being a stunner, “he sieved his syllables from books.” There is a quiet yearning in your words. Lovely.
Lovely words Bjorn. So much emotion in so few words.
This is sad, but lovely. Somehow though, it seems to me that at the end, he is at peace.
My money quote:
“he sieved his syllables from books,
Funny how differently a poem can be interpreted. I felt a sense of acceptance and peaces in this.
The metaphor of life being a puzzle is so well told. Beautiful, Bjorn!
Beautifully expressed sadness.
Your first three lines are brilliant! They start this poem with a good sense of the person speaking.
Love that you used the blue puzzle pieces!