Posted by: Peadar Ban | May 26, 2009

Stone Will Stay II

A contest. Decide which of the two versions of the poem you like. Submit your answers in the form of comments, here. You may try to persuade each other as to which is the one to like (if either is worth the trouble). The prize is a ticket to a ball game at Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua with Mariellen and me. Of course, you must get here on your own.

Here is the first version of the poem:

I built a stair into the hillside using tools I had,
An old red handled shovel, a mattock and my two hands.
Granite scraps rescued from piles of refuse
Once curb stone, pitted, stained, worn from over use
I gathered, carried home to lay down
Next to the oak that at the corner stands.
I thought to let the granite shaded lie
Enduring little more than chipmunks passing by
A smallish child, a shy petal laid just so,
A falling maple leaf, final
Simple whiteness of snow
On a cold and quiet night,
Or my wife and I in evening silence
With only memory for light.

When these words and I are gone away
Hill and stair and stone will stay.


  1. Am I understanding correctly that this one, titled as II, is actually the original?

    They are both lovely, but this one gets my vote, mostly because I was slightly confused by the ending of the first; not being sure whether you meant that only the words and you pass away, with everything else remaining or all else passed away exceot hill and stair and stone. This is a much clearer ending. I also like the “trinity” of this ending.

  2. Yes, it is the first one I wrote.

    I don’t know, actually, what I meant. I almost never do.


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