Goodbye, My Precious [*POEM*]

Vladimir Kush, Eclipse

Goodbye, My Precious

By Xanadu


Goodbye, my precious!—How I long, lost friend,
For you to live forever and not die.
And yet your book must bear these words: The End.
Where the tree falls, it falls; there let it lie.

There lie the happy prelapsarian haunts
Of Eden garden—kiss the holy ground—
There, where the paradisal sun enchants
And casts its emblematic radiance round.

Ah, precious, precious, all the days gone by,
Unnoticed while they ran by like a river,
A river full of silver fish to fry
Where you, my love, still cast your rod forever:
My precious deathflower, doomed and lost to me,
In the dark dreamlands of dead memory.

36 thoughts to “Goodbye, My Precious [*POEM*]”

  1. The poet mourns the loss of a period in her/her life, where everything was calm, innocent, adventurous, and like paradise. So, it mostly must be the days of innocent childhood, were everything was adventurous, beautiful, calm, and divine. A childhood, which went unnoticed, rushing forth like a river, full of life (fish to fry) and unending adventure for the poet to discover(still cast your rod forever) and yet, it came to an end.
    And yet, she calls all of this “precious death flower”. Meaning, that, she/he has no hope, of ever getting back the lost precious blissful, innocent and paradisiacal experience of childhood days. They are gone (In the dark dreamlands of dead memory.)
    What do I say?
    We are children, twice in our life. We are first, the Children of men, and then, thereafter, we are Children of God. So, it is possible, to continue the same innocent, we had as Children of men, when we become Children of God. And with that Spirit of innocence, its possible to continue to find life calm, innocent, adventurous, and like paradise. We do not need to mourn the Childhood experiences, as if its gone forever. Its still within you. That is why I like . Desiderata, which I copy to the poet, as hope, for his/her Childhood, in him/her, waiting to be experienced. It is God in us.

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.
    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

    1. Excellent poem. Deeply moving and poignantly sincere.

      I’m afraid that the first commenter has completely failed to understand the poem and put an interpretation on it that the poet never intended.

      Literature is inseparable from the science — if one call it a “science” — of HERMENEUTICS. That’s a big word which is probably unfamiliar to many people trawling this site, so I’ll explain that this technical word simply means “INTERPRETATION oF TEXTS”, i.e. it tells you what the poem “means”. It explains “the inner meaning”.

      Bigfoot, for all his sharp intelligence, has slipped up this time by his misinterpretation of the poem — a classic Shakespearean sonnet, by the way. This misinterpretation of the poem, regrettably, falsifies the poem and distorts its meaning.

      1. As you know, a dream is a dream. But your dream will have different MEANINGS for different interpreters. Freud will offer a totally different meaning to your dream compared to Jung. Freud will see sex, Jung will see the mystical and spiritual, in the same dream.

        The same applies to a poem like this: different interpreters, different meanings.

        Xanadu (LD) wrote this poem. Not Bigfoot. His interpretation of the poem, I believe, is totally incorrect if the meaning he gives it bears no resemblance to the meaning it has for Xanadu (LD).

        1. Bottom line: this poem is NOT about “childhood” and its “loss”, as Bigfoot postulates. Nor does the term “deathflower” apply to the poet herself, as Bigfoot erroneously concludes.

          This poem is essentially a bereavement poem, as most of Xanadu’s recent poems are: the result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by a catastrophic event in her life occurring, we are told, in the early months of 2018. They are not “death poems”, as some silly person here keeps insisting. They are bereavement poems. And they are written probably on the recommendation of the poet’s spiritual director for therapeutic reasons. Because they help to produce catharsis. Love ad death are the two intertwining leitmotifs here. And love and death, as most people know, are the two most vitally important themes in poetry, music, and world literature.

          This poem, “Goodbye, My Precious”, tells you what it is about by its very title. It’s about the loss of a dearly loved person adored by the poet. It’s a valediction: a poem of farewell to the loved one. And it is this person, who is dying of a terminal disease, who is described as a “deathflower”.

          This is exactly what this dearly loved dying person is to the poet: a flower that is slowly dying and going into decay. This is what makes the poem so poignant.

          In short, this poem has nothing whatever to do about the loss of childhood innocence; it’s about the loss of a loved one described here as a “deathflower”.

          1. @ Saki

            Well, we will never know. Because the poet herself refuses to divulge the meaning of her poem.

            Though the poem is clearly about the impending loss of a dearly loved person — hence the title “Goodbye, my Precious” — it may be said in defense of Bigfoot’s sensitive interpretation that the loss of childhood innocence is constantly alluded to in LD’s verse.

            As with Christina Rossetti, a huge influence on LD, a longing for the lost paradise — for heaven itself — is the most frequently occurring motif permeating and impregnating all her best poems. LD had an idyllic childhood in her school days in the Himalayan mountains, 7000 feet above sea level amid winter snows and tiger forests and skies full of blazing stars, and she likens this magic childhood of hers to a foretaste of heaven.

            1. Thanks Sister Monica. I may be wrong as Saki, claims, but I normally perceive Poetry more like Puzzle than a piece which requires a scientific exegesis or Hermeneutics. But one wonders, why the poet never used the inclusive “we” where the poet would include herself in the world of the departed or departing.

              The last stanza makes one wonder whether it was someone the poet was about to loose, or days. She says,

              “Ah, precious, precious, all the days gone by,
              Unnoticed while they ran by like a river,
              A river full of silver fish to fry
              Where you, my love, still cast your rod forever:”

              Where is the poet in this paradisiacal moment?

              And then, the last two line reveal the subject of the Poem. The Loved one is not dead in literal sense. The loved one, is dead, “In the dark dreamlands of dead memory.” The loved one is dead in the Poets memories! can it be plainer?

              This is a pointer to the possibility that the Poet is remembering about herself! She is remembering when she was a child, and not someone else!

              “My precious deathflower, doomed and lost to me”

              She loved here Childhood. But she cannot go back and become a Child again. The poem is a dirge to lost Childhood. To the Child who is gone, and now the poet faces life as an Adult, where life is not as adventurous as when she was a Child

  2. Saki, Sister –

    It could just as well be a lamentation of the loss of one’s OWN life, which may seem “precious” at the moment. If you reside in as pleasant a place as is my own good fortune, it might occur to you that losing that life might cause regret.
    For love of another’s – or one’s own life – the poem may apply. Poets can see it either way.

    1. Gilbert,

      I take your point. Ultimately, a poem only works if it has a meaningful message for the person who reads it. And of course it doesn’t work if you find it meaningless and pointless. It’s got to mean something to YOU, something special, and you must be moved by its beauty and sincerity.

      Hope you agree.

      1. Of course I agree – but the poem must reflect he poet’s own perspective, too; which could be multi-faceted. Whenever I write, I am aware that my own sentiments may match others’. I hope to convey shared feelings.

  3. If you type in “fish to fry” in Google Translate English-to-Italian you get “pesce da friggere”. Is that the right way to translate “fish to fry” in Italian?

    Gosh, this is so exciting! I just can’t wait to find out how to say ” happy prelapsarian haunts” in Italian! Sounds like it would be a tough expression to translate into Italian but WE’RE sure it’s gonna be a piece of cake to translate! 🙂

    1. Well, I guess you’re of Italian origin yourself Joe. ain’t ya? So you know all about Italian expressions. I doubt if someone once employed by the Italian Mafia though, like yourself, would know how to put “prelapsarian haunts” into Italian. 🙂

      1. Pat is the world’s leading expert on everything and Madame is a Valley of the Dolls girl so the two comedians can collaborate on translating this from Italian into English, lol…,

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63AJPc7TOCc

        Fr. Giuseppe Beppe sends Madame and Pat his *benedizioni*. *grin*

    2. Hi Joe,
      “fish to fry” means “pesce da friggere” but to translate it from a poem you have to do an effort and change the translation avoiding to escape from the meaning. In this case the best solution is:
      – pesce da mangiare (avoiding the term “fry” (friggere) that’s a little technical and not suitable for poems
      – pesce da gustare (to taste or to enjoy).
      In any case my opinion is that the term “fry” is not so nice for a poem in english too.

      Regarding “prelapsarian haunts” that’s another story, much more complicate to translate.
      “Haunt” ca be a hole or a burrow for animals (foxes, rabbits, moles etc) but also a place that reminds you your childhood. It can also means “ghost” (fantasma o spettro).
      “Prelapsarian” is a term used in theology and history of religions to state the human condition in connection with the “fall” (latin “lapsus”).
      Prelapsarian haunts could be translated with “fantasmi dell’ante-caduta” but I am not 100% sure it could fit.

      1. @ Gian Franco

        With all due respect to you, Signore, I regret to say that your knowledge of idiomatic English is defective!

        As a translator of English into Italian, you really ought to get a better English-Italian Dictionary that translates not only English WORDS but also the popular English IDIOMS, CATCHPHRASES, and COLLOQUIAL EXPRESSIONS into Italian. Any English-speaking person here who has read the beautifully written poem by ‘Xanadu’ (whoever this mysterious person is) will know that you are talking complete nonsense when you write this:

        “fish to fry” means “pesce da friggere” but to translate it from a poem you have to do an effort and change the translation avoiding to escape from the meaning. In this case the best solution is:

        – pesce da mangiare (avoiding the term “fry” (friggere) that’s a little technical and not suitable for poems

        – pesce da gustare (to taste or to enjoy).

        In any case my opinion is that the term “fry” is not so nice for a poem in english.

        No, sir! You are wrong! If you had a better grasp of spoken English (street talk) as opposed to “literary” English, you would know that the expression “FISH TO FRY” is an extremely common idiom used every day by people who speak English. “Xanadu” didn’t make it up, nor is there anything unpleasant or “not so nice” about the word “fry”.

        “The term ‘fry’ is not so nice for a poem in English,” you say. Garbage! Utter rubbish! You will find the expression “fish to fry” in the Oxford English Dictionary and all reference books.

        This is what my Reference Dictionary says:

        (1) “I have OTHER FISH TO FRY.” = “I have other things to do. I am busy and cannot attend to anything else now.”

        (2) “He has BIGGER FISH TO FRY.” = “He has more important business to attend to.”

        Xanadu’ line “A river full of silver fish to fry” has NOTHING TO DO WITH EATING FISH!!! And there is NOTHING “not nice” or indelicate about using this common expression in poetry when all it means is “a life full of exciting things to do.”

        Maybe it’s not very nice in Italian, but I assure you it’s fine in English! 🙂

        * * * * *

        England has always been a maritime fishing nation and the English language is full of colloquial expressions to do with FISH: e.g.

        — “A cold fish.” = an unemotional person.

        — “To drink like a fish.” = To be a heavy drinker.

        — “A fish out of water.” = A person who feels awkward or ill at ease in company, who feels he doesn’t belong.

        — “TO HAVE OTHER FISH TO FRY” or “TO HAVE BIGGER FISH TO FRY” = To have other more important things to do with your time. (Nothing to do with stuffing fish in your mouth!!!). 🙂

        I hope this explanation gives you no offence, because you are otherwise a brilliant translator and indeed a very competent poet in your own right.

        Simon Farrow
        (Retired English Professor)

        1. @ Gian Franco

          As for the phrase “prelapsarian haunts”, you make a very simple thing sound far too complicated! This simply refers to a state of childhood innocence, the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Man.

          My dictionary says: “PRE-LAPSARIAN (adj.), characteristic of or relating to the human state before the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden (from Latin, ‘lapsus’, fall).

          PRELAPSARIAN HAUNTS = various locations in the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Man; nooks and corners of the earthly paradise.

          P.S. I have sent Admin a paraphrase translation of this beautiful poem in simple prose that brings out its meaning. They might wish to publish it as a separate article. It’s up to them. This would be a help and guideline for you if you intended to translate the poem into Italian.

          Take care, Signore, and my best wishes to you! 🙂

          Simon Farrow
          (Retired English Professor)

          1. @ Simon Farrow
            (Retired English Professor)

            OK, we will publish your prose poem paraphrase later today or tomorrow, even though we don’t usually accept unsolicited submissions. This is only because your paraphrase is superbly done and may offer useful tips to translators or readers baffled by the meaning of LD’s original poem. I must say I don’t have a clue what she’s taking about half the time, but that’s part of the fun. I certainly wouldn’t like to be omniscient. God help God! 🙂

          2. Dear Retired English Professor,
            I respect your opinion and I know I am not perfect in the translations of poems such as LD ones. I simply do my best or try to do it. I like those poems and this pushes me to translate them. I thank you a lot for your explanations which are very important to me. Unfortunately I have no English-Italian dictionary translating catchphrases or colloquial expressions but I will try to get one.
            Best regards

            1. Thanks, Gian. I wrote you a long response to this comment yesterday but lost it. So frustrating when that happens!

              I had another try just now. Spent 20 minutes talking to you about the art of translation etc etc … and bingo! — LOST THE COMMENT AGAIN!

              Whew . . . I’ll try again tomorrow! 🙂

    3. moreover joe, consider how the expanded search of “silver fish to fry;” opens wonderful new horizons for inquiry and enlightenment, even as it no doubt drifts downriver ever further from the poem’s imagery and meaning.

      silverfish (possibly lepisma saccarina in italian) is a bug species that consumes paper around the house and cellulose generally, although oil of the japanese cedar stops it cold, which is why unless your books are printed on japanese cedar your best bet are e-readers like kindle (e.g., i got lafkadio hearn’s japanese ghost stories, avoided by silverfish).
      but here is the amazing thing joe, try to wrap your mind around it: silverfish are a very ancient species, over 400 million years.
      how could they have survived so long unless there was an equally ancient and unknown civilization whose books and printed material have sustained generations of silverfish?

      note: i recall a part time job in my teens at the canadian post office and my supervisor’s name was silverfish … yes he was, in answer to your next question. 🙂

      as the field of artificial intelligence develops by leaps and bounds—curious how ibm’s deep blue beat the human world chess champion 25 years ago but poems are still beyond its parameters—we may be graced with a google poemizer to both write and interpret them as authoritatively as today’s factcheckers which unanimously agree that the 6m jew holocaust is absolutely true—take it to the bank—oops, 16m surviving jews did already.

      it will leave our souls even more useless than they are, no place for souls and wisdom teeth in modern society—easy removal, freebie part of the rhinoplasty package.

      silverfish are underneath the piles, joe, not even the world of poetry is free of them.
      “pesce da friggere”, “da friggin pests” … close enough for gov’t work.

      1. This erudite gentleman talks a lot of sense. He is clearly well versed in matters piscatorial. An ichthyologist with an offbeat sense of humour. Not too fishy, I hope! 🙂

        1. Lobro has been, at least as long as I’ve lol at his wisecracks by every sense of the word, a far flung Javert. (yikes) With a dash of Van Helsing and a pinch of Peter Sellers..

            1. indeed, prof, i wear that identity like a dunce cap, by no means proud whether of fake name or crude and ignorant article.

              between 2016 and present day i traveled in time, space and the furthest of all in mind, having greedily acquired and hoarded mental and spiritual trinkets along the way even while giving heave to other gewgaws no longer seen useful (such as the said article by the said Van Helsing), a packrat constructing his nest deep in the forest.

              bizarre / inexplicable? … antisocial? maybe to some.
              but mine, all mine as i stand atop that heap surveying the remainder of cosmos.
              🇮, MEME, mine.

      2. @LOBRO
        “silverfish are a very ancient species, over 400 million years.”
        I’m a bit late here, like usual, since a lot of my time is spent trying to spread the truth about the 1958 takeover of the papacy by means of a nuclear threat: Grave-Reasons-of-State-Gary-Giuffre-Fr-Villa-article-Chiesa-Viva.pdf as well as the truth of traditional Catholicism and the importance of the authentic Message of Fatima (including the “disappearing” and probable murder of the Fatima seer, Sr Lucia). Forgive this off topic preface but it’s of immeasurable importance. “If souls aren’t saved, nothing is saved.” Anyway, no species is 400 million years old or even 10,000 years old. We’ve been lied to about 14 billion years of molecules to microbes to man evolution, especially Darwinian but even theistic evolution, just like we’ve been lied to about almost everything of importance. See “Cataclysm from Space; 2800 B.C.”, Donald W. Patten, https://youtu.be/im1VBplFqFg, also http://www.kolbecenter.org/more-scientific/ and Hugh Owen on youtube.

        In Feb. 1981, then-CIA Director William Casey during the first meeting of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, told those present, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” That includes the myth of a universe billions of years old and the myth of Evolution.

  4. This poem reads beautifully in French if you put it through the Google translator. Unfortunately, the robot translator has made one HUGE howler.
    I have put it bold font below.

    Au revoir, mon précieux!—Comment c’est long, ami perdu,
    Pour que tu vives pour toujours et que tu ne meures pas.
    Et pourtant, votre livre doit porter ces mots: La Fin.
    Où l’arbre tombe, il tombe; il n’y laisser mensonge.

    Là se trouvent les heureux repaires prélapsariens
    Du jardin d’Eden—embrasse la terre sainte—
    Il y avait le soleil paradisiaque enchante
    Et jette son éclat emblématique rond.

    Ah, précieux, précieux, tous les jours d’autrefois,
    Inaperçu pendant qu’ils couraient comme une rivière,
    Une rivière pleine de poissons d’argent à frire
    Où toi, mon amour, jette toujours ta verge pour toujours:
    Ma précieuse fleur de mort, condamnée et perdue pour moi,
    Dans les terres de rêve sombres de la mémoire morte.

    “Deathflower” sounds beautiful in French: “fleur de mort” ( ‘flower of death).

    The big mistake?

    ‘Where the tree falls, it falls; there let it lie.” The stupid robot translates this as “Où l’arbre tombe, il tombe; il n’y laisser mensonge. (“Where the tree falls, it falls; there let it tell lies. 🙂

    That’s really funny — a tree that can’t be trusted to tall the truth!
    These mechanical translators are darn useless.

  5. From my frame of reality, earth is a prison planet where wayward souls of space empire are cast – and part of our torture on earth are memories of our friends, lovers, mates, families from our original home planet.

    Mourning a lost love is caused by our memories of that person, which fade with time:

    “My precious deathflower, doomed and lost to me,
    In the dark dreamlands of dead memory.”

    We were cast to earth like those angels in our holy books, we the living cast out of space empire onto a prison planet, erased of our former memories we do not know where we are from or who are former associates are. This is the ultimate torture of those beings who unfortunately are caught up in the endless reincarnation cycle on earth.
    ————————
    Here are two of my essays that explain our situation, it is worse than you can imagine:

    1. Tricked by the Light: The Grim Reality of Endless Reincarnation Cycles
    On July 11, 2018 By YUKON JACK

    https://i.imgur.com/uGQ3qIe.jpg

    2. The Reincarnation Trap According to a Channeled Nordic Alien
    On January 23, 2019 By YUKON JACK
    https://i.imgur.com/JzXF9Ge.jpg

    1. Lasha’s use of the word “prelapsarian” illustrates her lament over the reality of our Fall from Grace, where love never “strays”. It makes me think of Donne’s famous pondering, “Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”?

      My answer, in taking the question beyond the rhetorical, is the former, because it shows you have the courage to love. Without this courage there can be no basis for having faith in a reunion, and it would seem that longing for that compels it to occur.

  6. You can take the boy and girl out of the garden, but you can’t take the garden out of them.
    (or the snake)

    1. You can take Lasha out of the shower but you can’t take the shower curtain off of her head [ it’s gorilla-glued to her head ] lol….

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