My Tragic Sense of Life










I get a sepia-tinted sadness just
from recalling an old photograph
of my parents on honeymoon,
posed by the seafront railings
in Douglas, Isle of Mann, with
a solid Irish Sea for backdrop.
And so, the sadness builds –
it was over ninety years ago,
throw in all that’s gone, all those
inter-war art deco revolutions
round the sun, and throw in
the photographer – he’s gone too,
after permanently fixing their happy
embarking-on-life-together smiles,
but taking their luminosity of spirit
away with him in his hooded camera –
no wonder they could never change
their stoic Edwardian mind-set;
or so it seems to me, raised with
their best, but undemonstrative, care.

© Nemo 2020
Views: 903
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

You see, you still have it, Gerald, the special choice of words that make a short piece like this so nostalgic, atmospheric, and thought-provoking. Much enjoyed as usual. On the presentation side, you like using couplets, not sure though if it comes over as too spaced out, perhaps triplets would work better? The pictures are far too large – if you go in ‘Edit’ and activate them by clicking on them, and then placing the curser over a corner dot, it will turn into an inward pointing arrow, allowing you to draw it in and make the picture proportionately smaller,… Read more »


That’s a lot more pleasing to the eye, and the poem, its content messaging, flows much better too. (Isle of Man?)


A touch of nostalgia and wistfulness characterise this well crafted poem inspired by a sepia-tinted photograph.
The absence of warmth in the raising of children was typical of a long ago generation accustomed to a more rigid way of life and it may have appeared uncaring.

Flag Content