The memory I have of my Love
Resembles that solitary
Tree silhouette up on the hill –
And so long as I remain Here –
That tree silhouette will appear
Just as motionless and as still –
As my Love who lies up on that hill
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
Definitely not an autobiographical poem, to get that straight and clear out of the way, this poem was inspired by that well-known image of a solitary tree on a hill (or just landscape in some cases). I can’t remember if this poem was inspired by me seeing the image at the time, in real life or via some media, but I’ve always felt sad seeing such a lonesome tree on its own with no others around it. I do think it to be a beautiful image, too, but in a sad way, unlike some who just find it beautiful. Mind you, I don’t often ever think it so sad so as to be associated with death, and death of a Love like portrayed in the poem here, just a loneliness kind of sad easily understandable by the solitary tree being there alone. However, something made me go that far in the extent of sadness associated with the image in writing this poem.
As for seeing the solitary tree image to be on the sad side, maybe one has to be a bit lonesome to feel the way I do about the image. I don’t know, but I was definitely feeling lonesome at the time of that poem’s writing, self-absorbed in a problem only I could solve regarding what to do next in life after having just graduated with my First Class Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry, whilst knowing I would not be following up on my studies from the past four years of my life.
Actually, I do know.
I’ve seen such an image numerous times on drives out of Halifax towards Truro, though I am not sure how far out. There is a farm on the way with such a solitary tree on its landscape with absolutely no others around it. Often, I am not driving on these trips and have good company with me so I am not feeling lonely, but the sight still seems a bit melancholic to me.
Rereading that last paragraph, the obvious question was what about drives back to Halifax on the same journeys? Being a passenger, I am often in the passenger side on the right, or even if in the back, I’m also on that side a lot of the time, preferring to look to the right for looking out the window. The tree is on the right side going out of Halifax. All the memory I have of it is from going out, without the opposing highway lane in the picture like there would be if I were seeing it from the perspective of a car driving back to Halifax.
I’m amazed I just crystallized those memories out so well. I’ve never thought about it at all, let alone in those ways. Hey, I guess that’s why I’ve had the urge to annotate my poetry. It’s just as much discovery for me as anybody who might actually read this stuff.
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.