Derek Walcott: Half my friends are dead
Chekhov on wishing for death in a hopeless illness

Riley: He is not dead. He is just away

Monkeyleader.flickr
I cannot say, and will not say
that he is dead. He is just away.

With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
he has wandered into an unknown land

and left us dreaming how very fair
it needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you-- oh, you, who the wildest yearn
for an old-time step, and the glad return,

think of him faring on, as dear
in the love of there as the love of here.

Think of him still as the same. I say,
he is not dead-- he is just away.

With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand
he has wandered into an unknown land,

and left us dreaming how very fair
it needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you-- O you, who the wildest yearn
for the old-time step and the glad return--,

think of him faring on, as dear
in the love of There as the love of Here;

....

Think of him still as the same, I say:
He is not dead-- he is just away.

         --James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). You can read the whole poem here.

Comments

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It is the most beautiful poem. It help me go thru hard times, facing to lose my father

Thank you

to susan overhage,our dearest friend we hope this poem will help you through the day for it has always been special to us through a hard time. welove you and are with you everyday. love,nels & jean

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