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Below is the poem entitled Versions which was written by poet Keith Bickerstaffe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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...inspired by 'A Soldier of the Great War'
   by Mark Helprin

The old man stumbles, the young man 
swaggers with assurance. 
Stars of grace and suns of perfect 
promise point to journeys yet uncharted 
on their pathways to fulfillment.

The old man dreams of childhood, 
cherished memories and golden opportunities. 
The young man yearns for sexual expression.

Companions, self-possessed, growing 
in respect for their astonishments and fears. 
The old man a philosopher, 
a master of life's unpredictabilities; 
the young man just a neophyte, 
the world at his behest.

Together, yet alone, storied travelers 
with different versions of the universe.

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  1. Date: 1/20/2009 9:50:00 PM
    Great poem. :D It's amazing to find out how other people think and see the world. What they concider right and wrong etc. I think about this sometimes, I'm only 18, so I wonder if in 30 more years or so just how I'll see the world. I hope by then that I at least understand it somewhat, but I doubt any of us actually get how the world works. A great write :D Nathaniel

  1. Date: 1/19/2009 3:53:00 PM
    this is soo incredible.......I jus love how it flows*great write!....Maryam

  1. Date: 1/19/2009 3:28:00 AM
    Wow, those last 2 lines - awesome!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, exactly...I'm at a loss for words - not like me at all! lol brilliant, Keith, I must have this for my faves, excellent! Love, Kristin

  1. Date: 1/18/2009 8:13:00 PM
    This is one of those dimensions of realization I think about a lot as Im turning 30 in a couple months. There are those polar opposite ends of life when you relish such different things and there is the middle ground where you look back at one end fondly and forward with excitement and trepidation. This is an excellent incite Keith....nice work!

  1. Date: 1/18/2009 6:58:00 PM
    Very thoughtful Keith , the symbols for ending and starting life are great , It's a masterpiece. best regards .. Mohamed

  1. Date: 1/18/2009 4:18:00 PM
    I think this is one of your much truth an ..ahem.."older" woman I can see this very clearly. BG

  1. Date: 1/18/2009 3:49:00 PM
    I look at people who have travled through life longer than I and try to see deep into their eyes. I wonder what its like to see young people doing things so easily that used to come so easily to them. I wish our society gave respect to our elders as other cultures do. This was very good Keith and made me think. Laurie

  1. Date: 1/18/2009 2:22:00 PM
    Wow... I am astonished! This is an incredible work of yours and I intend to read more :) It is remarkable how you closed this piece, just wonderful. I am putting it in my favorites. Thank you for sharing.... Lucinda