The poem “Remember me” by David Harkins is a good example of how something beautiful can be misused by others. Read more about this poem and something negative that is related to this poem.
About the poet and his poem
David Harkins (born November 14 1958) is a painter and poet from Britain. He wrote this poem entitled Remember me. Sometimes it is published as She is gone or Now she is gone. For a long time, it wasn’t clear who wrote it.
After the funeral ceremony of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 2002, Harkins stepped forward. There was a lot of speculation about the poet, who wrote these beautiful words.
The poem has then been used a lot at funerals, but according to Harkins, the poem is really about one-sided love.
In the Daily Mail of 2003, Harkins explained what it was all about:
” I was 23 when I first met Anne Lloyd, my inspiration for the poem I called ‘Remember Me’. She was 16 and didn’t know me, but I had seen her about and knocked on her door one evening in November 1981. Anne answered, and I introduced myself as a painter (painting was a hobby of mine back then) and asked her to pose. She agreed, and I returned on the Thursday evening, when I made feeble attempts to sketch Anne. This proved difficult as her mother was present throughout. Anne posed for me about eight times, and we met regularly for a couple of years and talked a great deal, though we never even kissed, which is probably why I poured all my feelings about her into my poetry. I completed ‘Remember Me’ in about March 1982… “
Unfortunately for this poet, the poem was not well received when he published this in 1982. It was republished in 1999, but that was about it. By that time, Harkins did not write anymore. He worked in a factory and as a cleaner. He began to paint, mostly nude and erotic portraits. He sold these online and with the money, he could take care of his disabled son.
In February 2002, the poem was used by the family of Margart, the Dowager Viscountess De L’Isle and from there on, it made its way to Buckingham Palace. At that time, it wasn’t clear who wrote this. The first suggestions were that this poem was written for a condolence card. A further search came up with some names, but not the right ones. It was a local newspaper, that discovered in 2002. Though the words were somewhat different, from those he wrote, he was very surprised that his words were used.
Once the news got out about this poet, he was later thanked by Prince Charles.
So, how is it possible something so beautiful such as this poem has something to do with negativity. Well, it can happen.
Nowadays, it’s easy to copy the words of others. Sometimes people take it a step further than that. They don’t just copy these words, they claim these words are their own. As written by them.
On more than one occasion The Ministry of Poetic Affairs noticed that people were trying to pass the work of others as their own. When confronted with this, the reactions were mostly the same: blocking The Ministry of Poetic Affairs on social media.
To use words of others is one thing. Giving credits is a must, that’s why The Ministry of Poetic Affairs does this. Using the words and claiming that they are your own, that’s plagiarism. That’s not poetry, that’s thievery. In some cases, this can be punishable.
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
— David Harkins