I'm not 100% sure it was Ray Bradbury, but I remember a poem that was a favorite when I was a teen. It has been on my mind now for the past few years and I have been unable to find it. I have searched long and hard. Please, if you know anything about the poem, please let me know!
It wasn't a "rhyming" poem, but is was written very beautifully. It was about an older gentleman returning to his home. He is overwhelmed by the smallness of everything. He eventually ends up climbing a tree, and finding a note he had left in a container apparently to himself. While sitting in the tree he thinks about what he must look like as an old man climbing a tree! One line I remember was "There I sit. Alone and thanking God that no one saw this ancient man at antics." The poem ends dramatically with him opening the old yellowed parchment from the past to read the words, "I remember you. I remember you." As I said, the name of the poem was "Remembrance." It seems like it was by Ray Bradbury. Any thoughts?
Thanks, Wade Hickman
It's one of the better poems in his first collection, "When Elephants Last in the Dooryard Bloomed."
When the BBC made a documentary with Ray in the early 1980s, they did a brief dramatisation of this poem, with a boy playing the young Ray (climbing the tree and hiding the note) and Ray himself playing the adult Ray (climbing the tree and finding the note). It was very well done.
I personally find it one of the most touching of Ray's poems. There's something very moving about a character reaching out to himself over the decades - the forethought of the child, the nostalgia of the adult. There's a Harlan Ellison story called "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty" which has a similar element of the adult making contact with his younger self (of course, being Harlan, he takes it in a totally different direction).
There's always "Night Call, Collect," to remind us that with *some* younger selves, who needs enemies?
Richard Bach also wrote Running From Safety which has a similar theme.
Phil, that is great! Do you know whether it was filmed in the real ravine in Waukegan, or in a similar-looking location in California?
Who can tell? It was just a tree! When I get the chance, I'll post some images from that sequence.
Actually, most of the documentary appears to be shot in and around Ray's home and office, and in Los Angeles. So the tree is probably somewhere in LA.
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