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My Thoughts on "Around the Corner" a Poem by Charles Hanson Towne

Around The Corner

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him",
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.


My Thoughts

First of all, I think this poem is so beautifully and wonderfully written. I really love the way it flows and how it draws the reader in.

Secondly, this poem makes me sad for several reasons. For one thing, I think about my grandfather, parents and my brothers, because I live far away from them. I only get to see them every few months, and lately I haven't even been able to see them for most holidays, and that makes me sad. Yet it was my decision to meet and marry someone from another area, and my decision to live far away from my family of origin. I still miss them daily though and wonder at times if we will ever live in closer proximity again. I hope we will someday.

Lastly, this poem makes me nostalgic about a couple of friendships that I've lost. One friend I felt was my best, dearest friend, my most kindred spirit in the world. I thought we would never not be friends. Now it has been over 3 years since we have spoken on the phone or had any real or lasting contact, except for a handful of emails. She needed to get professional help for some deep-seated issues she had, that she had not divulged to me in all our 10 years of friendship. I still think about her almost daily and miss our friendship. I miss our talks about God, family and friends, art, and just the daily musings on life. I also think of another friend who decided not to speak to me anymore because she chose to live an alternate lifestyle that she knew I didn't think was the best. Although I told her we would always be friends and that I loved her, she still chose to delete me from her social media and stop talking to me altogether. I miss our talks about art and poetry, crafting and doing sewing projects together (she's a talented seamstress and I can barely sew) and our talks about life in general, and the genuine silliness and humor she brought to my life. We had been friends for over 20 years when we stopped speaking. Funny how sometimes we think a friendship will last forever, yet that can change at any time. I pray someday these friendships will come back around, if it is God's will for that to happen.


Nicole K (author) on April 11, 2016:

Paintdrips, that's so neat that you make it a point to skype with your sister every week! I do call my mom almost every other day (or she'll call me) and I keep in touch with my siblings and my dad usually via text message or social media (but sometimes phone calls too).

MsDora, what a difficult and sad thing to have that regret. Thank you for sharing with us. It's a good reminder to us all that life is short and to not take anything for granted, however I'm sure your friend would understand and want you to forgive yourself because that could happen to anyone.

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God bless you both!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 07, 2016:

The poem rings true for me too. I was visiting my aunt in Connecticut when I called a couple who were my friends in Brooklyn, New York. They invited me to take the train and come visit, and I promised that I would make another trip. The husband passed before I could keep my promise and I suffered deep regret. I'd think twice and more before turning down another invitation to visit.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on April 06, 2016:

Great sentiment, beautifully said! My dad used to say something like that: You won't always have me around. And he was right. But it is so hard to slow life down just to visit the people you love. My sister and I Skype every Sunday just to keep in touch. She started it when she lived thousands of miles away and has kept it up even though she only lives 60 miles away now. I'm glad. Because who knows when we would get together if she didn't.

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