The following two poems address the oftentimes equivocal guises of memory.
In an Edinburgh Pub
An old fellow, hunched over a half pint
I hope he's remembering.
I hope he's not thinking.
Which comes first?
Memory, as always,
Lazarus of the past --
who comes sad or joyful,
but always carrying with him
a whiff of grave clothes.
Ewen McCaig, The Poems of Norman MacCaig (Polygon 2009). MacCaig wrote the poem in January of 1989, at the age of seventy-eight. This leads one to speculate who the "old fellow" in the poem might be (or at least who he might remind MacCaig of).
"I fear this" should read: "as far away as."
"I remember" should read: "my memory fails me."
"I was aghast" should read: "I was, alas, distracted."
"The day was clear" should read: "the day is a blur."
In the penultimate sentence,
"I shall forever regret" should read: "I shall never regret"
Or, in the alternative: "my memory once again fails me."
The final sentence should be removed in its entirety.