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Late Fragment by Raymond Carver

Sometimes it’s the littlest things: the soft click of the spoon against my mug as I stir sugar in my coffee. C. kissing my cheek before leaving the house. Music filling up all twenty square meters of a room. Forgetting to turn off the bedside lamp and waking up to extra light. A quiet breakfast. Some sunshine, despite a prediction of heavy rain.

The world changes, from day to day. Whether I want it or not. Whether I’m prepared for it or not. Whether I pay attention or not.

I exist. Now, to live

How does one begin again?

There’s starting over from scratch. Throwing away what has been, to make room for what will be. There’s turning to a new page. Starting again. With reminders of what was in the background. (A memory? A ghost?) There’s continuance. Just keeping at it. It goes on. Same page, same haunting. But you go on.

What does it take to rebuild a life?

“Sleeping on the floor makes you closest to the earth.”

Yes. There’s dust, too, and caterpillars that wake me up at two in the morning. Phantom itches. The thought of spiders finding my bed.

I think about these creatures, wrestling with the idea that the world is fleeting and cruel. They go out anyway.

When you live in the dark for so long, you begin to love it. And it loves you back, and isn’t that the point? You think, the face turns to the shadows, and just as well. It accepts, it heals, it allows.

But it also devours.

There was a deep sea; I was drowning, and I let it embrace me. I was floating and not breathing, and calling it a life.

But now there is light. I can see it. It’s time to swim towards it.

Late Fragment
Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Comments (17)

  • “Music filling up all twenty square meters of a room” 🙂 Please never stop writing

  • You, your words and the poems you offer here at your site, though virtual, are none the less beloved, at least by me in my virtual incarnation.

  • tjoyce

    moments from your pen to my heart, amidst chaos something to swim toward. thank you

  • […] Late Fragment by Raymond Carver […]

  • I’m too sad to start rebuilding just yet.. But your words are a balm to my soul. I wish we could get coffee together.

  • k

    interesting how all coments here try to conncet their lives with this poem. you don’t know what the author was thinking, what they had in mind, where they wanted this poem to go, therefore you cannot conncet. So, please stop trying to be something you’re not. Stop trying to leave profound comments and sound intellegent. just say nice poem and leave it at that.

    • Bill

      This site isn’t about criticizing other people’s comments, so please keep your insulting comments to yourself. We all read poetry and try to connect to it just as we listen to music or read literature or watch movies and try to connect. All experience funnels through our perception and the most meaningful ones are when we connect to it. We share comments here because the poems make us feel connected as human beings through a shared human experience. And I believe that is the purpose of all art.

  • I really love the way you have used a question and answer format. It makes you think of your own answer to the question and relate it to the answer you gave. This is really insightful and has made me contemplate on current events in my own life. Thank you for this.

  • […] Some questions, some statements and some answers. […]

  • Summer

    come back to us

  • I just stumbled across this blog this morning and I am so happy to have found it! What a cool place.

    — Kait

  • Feb

    Please come back. If not for me, for yourself

  • jw man


  • Who thoughts are number 1 thru 6, written above Late Fragment.? Are these thoughts or poems written by the blog spot owner?

  • Belsis

    Thank you. I stumbled upon this searching for Raymond Carver, but found something else I needed more. 🙂

  • Rose

    Are the verses above last fragment also written by raymond carver? If not, where can i find more works by this unknown author? The verses are so masterfully and poignantly written. I’m desperate to read more!


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