Almanac Poetry: Rewriting, Reliving


The Hourglass, by Evelyn de Morgan, oil on canvas, 1905. [Wikimedia Commons.]


Rewriting, Reliving


Rewriting an early poem
– because you like it so much
but can now see the faults, not obvious then
– is like trying to relive youthful days
with the benefit of experience;
you make the effort, kidding yourself
that, with what you know now,
the result will be superior:
you won’t make the same mistakes twice.
But every time you try
to rewrite, relive the past,
you see no other outcome
was ever possible
than what you did then; it is
utterly of its time.
Rewriting, reliving the past provides
only two guarantees:
disintegration and failure.


(Acknowledgement: previously published in Quadrant, 2021.)



Read more from Kevin Densley HERE



Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE



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Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, was published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Love it Kevin.

    I hate the “what I’d tell my younger self” crap. If we could relive, we’d fail. Just differently.

    regrets? I have a few.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Dips.

    You’re certainly on my wave length in this context.

    Neil Young wrote that song ‘F@ckin’ Up!’, didn’t he? The song covers similar ground to my poem, but is more general in terms of content.

  3. Good call. Neil also wrote Bandit. One of the greats. Sort of on this wave length!!

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