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Poetry Break for July 8th, 2008

We go back five years to this date in 2003 for Bob Blair’s comments on Cameron’s I Am Young. The viewpoint is a little unusual in that a youth is having a Carpe Diem moment. This is a device you see more often when the voice is one of old age, wistful with advice and regret. Here are Bob’s comments:

It was wise of George Frederick Cameron, a Nova Scotian born in 1854, to understand what he wrote in today's poem, I Am Young as if he were young when he wrote it. It is cynical if he were old. It's all of one piece to us today, because Cameron is long dead. What a lot to learn from 42 stressed syllables.
-- Bob Blair

I Am Young
I am young, and men
Who long ago have passed their prime
Would fain have what I have again, —
Youth, and it may be — time.

To gain these, and make
Life's end what it may not be now,
Monarchs of thought and song would shake
The laurels from their brow.

And each king of earth,
Whose life we deem a holiday,
For this would give his kingship's worth
Most joyously away!

-- George Frederick Cameron

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