Some Sad Dark Secret

Temper your enthusiasm,’

She said,

‘The extremes of your reactions;

You should have

A more conventional frame

On which to hang

Your unconventionality.’

‘Don’t push people,’

She said,

‘You make yourself vulnerable.’


Was I was hiding

Some sad

Dark secret from the world?


She told me not to rhapsodise,

That it would be difficult,

Impossible, perhaps,

For me to harness my dynamism.

The tone of my work,

She said,

Is often a little dubious.

She said

She thought

That there was something wrong.


As if I was hiding

Some sad

Dark secret from the world.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

'Some Sad Dark Secret' was inspired by words spoken to me by a former tutor and mentor of mine at university in London, as well as my own reflections on them in the shape of makeshift journal entries. She passed in 2008 and was laid to rest in the churchyard of St Martin’s Church, Bladon, close by to the grave of Sir Winston Churchill, who was the subject of one of her published books.

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Starward's picture

Wow, this is so accurate a

Wow, this is so accurate a description of disencouragement, and is very similar to my own experience---both with my first love, and with my faculty advisor at college.


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Carl_Halling's picture

Interesting, very...

...but I have never seen her words as discouraging, I think she was trying to 'tone me down' as if fearing I was operating at too high a pitch of intensity. In the event, about 10 years after she spoke these words to me, I suffered a kind of collapse, mostly alcohol-related, and I don't feel I've ever fully recovered. But thanks for your comment, great as always to hear from you here. Carl.

Born London, residing London Metropolitan Area.