Upon Turning Twenty

Where is the one who loved without preference,
whose tender laugh chimed sweet like golden bells?
Where has the child gone, bright-eyed Innocence,
whose smile, so pure, the darkest clouds dispels?
For hate and sorrow overcast my sight,
and bitter knowledge grieves my waning heart:
Death’s shadows wax without my seraph light,
and in black silence you and I must part.
Truth speak, once open-hearted friend, and say,
is it my fault this child, the best of guides,
has vanished while I blindly go astray?
Is it from me my own Innocence hides?
Say those pure tones will sound my muffled soul
and an unerring love will light my vision whole.


This is another older poem.  Revision suggestions welcome.


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Sonnet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Upon Turning Twenty

  1. trisha says:

    this is simply divine, very beautifully written words of truth.

  2. Amity Me says:

    ‘for the old are gold’ as the saying goes….no need for revision Yousei…:)

    that was your best at that time, and if you would revise it now, it will lose its purity, heck…i mean its originality and artistic quality….:)

    very nice one poem again! who says you need to revise it?

    good morning Yousei!!!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Amity Me, Good Morning to you too, and thank you. I understand preserving original work, but I’d still like to make it better. Changing things is actually a challenge for me. I will always keep a version of the original. I would also like to continue to improve my writing skills, and I believe a willingness and honed ability to revise are important. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Julie says:

    I love how the poem brings back those same feelings I had in my teens and early twenties. It’s a weird time of life, isn’t it? I had a kid by then, so I had to “grow up” a lot sooner than my friends did. But I still had to struggle with these same feelings. Your poem is a recognition of the child and adult in all of us, and the longing for innocence. It is very beautiful!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Julie, you are right. It was a very strange time. I should write another one now, because I can hardly remember how I used to look at things. When life is crazy and heavy (like now), that way of viewing things, living period, sounds so wonderful. Thank you for the compliment.

  4. catgirlslovehaiku says:

    This poem is great as it is. I believe that if a work is well written the first time, it is important to preserve it because it capsules a moment in time that you can never get back. Remember that!

  5. lesliepaints says:

    I absolutely am drawn into this poem, Yousei. Though we grow, most twenties don’t see that child again until they see it in their children. It takes my breath away at times when I see my grand daughter remind me of three other generations of loved ones. We don’t really lose it, we share it. The beauty of your poem is that the title is perfect. Most twenty year olds have not witnessed this as yet. Thanks for this.

  6. Carmen says:

    I don’t believe for a minute that you ever did anything bad enough to warrant this poem! Adolescence/young adulthood is such a wrenching experience.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      LOL. I’m afraid the poem is a bit melodramatic. I don’t think I did anything bad back then either. No, it was a product of realizing that I was changing inside, and life just wasn’t as black and white as before. I really didn’t want that to happen, but didn’t see any way back to that way of looking at things. I think most people still feel this longing a bit when they look at little children playing joyfully, unaware of the heaviness of life around them.

  7. Technobabe says:

    Reading this poem, I can see it being writing about self, a younger, more innocent self. Sort of saying goodbye to the inner child and having to grow up.

  8. Angelia Sims says:


    Thank for your thoughtful comment. It means so much to me that you would take the time to extend such caring. It is deeply appreciated.

    I love this poem, it reminds me of my second marriage. 🙂

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