Around the corner I have a friend.
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20-01-2016, 12:03 PM
Around the corner I have a friend.
Hi all,

Here I'm going to post a poem that was in an Email chain letter I got when I was 12 or so. It had a great impact on me, and I still think it is a great poem, so I want to share it with you all, and let you take from it what you will. I've revisited this poem countless times in my life, and have a recording of it being read (by my ~12 year old self).

Note, I don't know who wrote this, nor am I going to go out of my way to find out.
Here it is:
--------------------------------
Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friend's face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him",
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

--------Email post text below. (pre text was full of examples of people who died because they didn't share the chainmail correctly).

Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love somebody, tell them.
Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you, because when you decide that it's the right time, it might be too late.
Seize the day, never have regrets.
And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped to make you the person you are today.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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20-01-2016, 12:42 PM
RE: Around the corner I have a friend.
My wife always commented about people that showed up at funerals, but really paid no mind to the diseased while they were alive and added that she didn't care if people came to her funeral as long as they had been around while she was alive.

The poem implies some humanism in the finality of death (the vanished friend) and makes no aspersions as to "see you in the next world old friend". As such, one way to interpret it, is that you better enjoy the time you have with your friends because it is the only time you have. The "and that is what we get and deserve in the end" is a bit negative to me. Maybe the author is reflecting some guilt.

It must be quite something to have this recording of yourself when you were 12 Adrian. Especially as you get older and the poem become self-fulfilling (there is no way we can keep in touch with all friends).
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20-01-2016, 01:31 PM
RE: Around the corner I have a friend.
(20-01-2016 12:42 PM)Iñigo Wrote:  My wife always commented about people that showed up at funerals, but really paid no mind to the diseased while they were alive and added that she didn't care if people came to her funeral as long as they had been around while she was alive.

The poem implies some humanism in the finality of death (the vanished friend) and makes no aspersions as to "see you in the next world old friend". As such, one way to interpret it, is that you better enjoy the time you have with your friends because it is the only time you have. The "and that is what we get and deserve in the end" is a bit negative to me. Maybe the author is reflecting some guilt.

It must be quite something to have this recording of yourself when you were 12 Adrian. Especially as you get older and the poem become self-fulfilling (there is no way we can keep in touch with all friends).
Thanks for taking the time to read. Yeah, reading this poem, and hearing me recite it is always a sobering experience. I don't do as well as a job at keeping up with my friends as I'd like. I have probably less than 30 people I'd call friends and I have probably only spoken to 20 of them in the last year. And probably only 10 of them in the last few months. I feel a little guilt, like the author (maybe). I don't want to drift apart, but it's tough when you are working full time and have your own goals and hobbies.

Luckily nobody has died from my set of friends. The one death I've gone through..at least there was never an issue of them not knowing how I feel (in large part, because of this poem).

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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20-01-2016, 01:47 PM
RE: Around the corner I have a friend.
Thanks for posting that. It's a good reminder.

I first heard that poem when I was a teen. I was involved in scouting and one of the scout leaders passed away suddenly. One of the other leaders read it at the funeral.

I always think of that poem when I realize there is someone I haven't talked to in a while.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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