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Detail from a painting by Vallatton, entitled To Remember Andelys.

There Are Things to Be Remembered

Set to music by Becca Stevens

Jane Tyson Clement


There are things to be remembered
when the heart is old,
and many words are waiting
before the tale is told;
for many hawks are plunging
upon the summer air,
and still the mice are creeping,
and still the world is fair.

A necessary evil
is portioned to the heart;
we might as well acknowledge
the devil from the start
and know the hasty blossom
as swiftly will decay,
while other flowers are waiting
to grace a forward day.

It is foolish to have wisdom
and folly to be blind;
to see and take and question
must nourish any mind;
reserve a quiet judgment
until the heart is old,
when fewer words are needed
before the tale is told.

This poem was set to music by jazz and folk musician Becca Stevens, acclaimed by The New York Times as “a singer and guitarist with a profound originality enhanced by an innate sense of melody.” Hear it on her 2015 album “Perfect Animal” and watch the YouTube video below.

This poem is from No One Can Stem the Tide.

Detail from a painting by Felix Vallatton showing a landscape of green fields and a winding river, with a golden sky, and black rain pouring down from the upper right corner. Felix Vallatton, To Remember Andelys (detail)
Contributed By Jane Tyson Clement Jane Tyson Clement

Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) was a poet, author, and playwright.

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