Memory

My mind lets go a thousand things
Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
And yet recalls the very hour--
'T was noon by yonder village tower,
And on the last blue noon in May--
The wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
Then, pausing here, set down its load
Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
Two petals from that wild-rose tree.

by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Comments (1)

Although most believe a mind can only grip important aspects of life, it serves a much more important use. This poem personifies the wind as the minds eye as it moves through the summer day. The wind picks up every scent that floats through the air, just as our memory captures every small aspect of life. In this poem the wind picks up things such as the smell of pine and the two petals that blow off a rose tree. Even though these are very tiny aspects of a day, memory still recognizes these things as it would see an important event. When one looks back on his life, it is often the most unimportant things that are recalled in the greatest detail.