Language evolves. We no longer use thee and thine and nowadays we’re more likely to use her rather than she in such a sentence. In this poem the use of her is more lyrical than she which sounds distant and more strident. It also adds to the symmetry of the line and is more evocative of the lover’s sadness. A poem, unlike prose has a wide, acceptable margin of syntactic flexibility. There’s nothing to be gained by sticking to grammatical correctness here than it would to punctuate e e cummings. It’s best to let the integral beauty of this poem simply to wash over you.
I read this poem in an anthology of poetry and I couldn't believe how spot on Brian is/was.... the final stanza says it all, a very fine poem that deserves its place in the Top 500. HG: -) xx
I love Brian Patten's poems too. He uses emotional expression so well, a few of his poems have had me tearful. The poem 'it is time to tidy up your life' is a very poignant poem and one of my favourites. Just today I cam on to find it, and looked and cannot find it. Then one last go at inputting it - I found it! A friend gave me this poem at a low point of my life, and it's just so.........well you know read it and keep reading it - till something sticks! The poem you refer to can be found here: www.annasach.net/peafair/otherwork/tidyup.htm
I'm a big fan of Brian's work. I read a poem of his a few years ago called 'It's Time To Tidy Up Your Life' and have been unable to find it since. Does anyone know where I could get a copy?
This is lovely, Brian; yet I was totally distracted by the line, It is her who is lost.' It needs to be 'It is she who is lost.' Those are the things that cause writers to lose credibility with the reader. My favorite part was your longing to bring home love like a lost kitten or strawberries. It is a happy, tender fantasy and lovely to read.