Most people would remember Laurence Binyon, if they know him at all, as the writer of the poem “For the Fallen”, commonly known as “The Ode”:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Binyon was a prodigious poet, below is another of his poems. Until I read the poem, it hadn’t occurred to me that one can consciously and deliberately create and store memories, like photographs in an album . . .
How to Make a Memory
by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
The rain was ending, and light
Lifting the leaden skies.
It shone upon ceiling and floor
And dazzled a child’s eyes.
Pale after fever, a captive
Apart from his schoolfellows,
He stood at the high room’s window
With face to the pane pressed close,
And beheld an immense glory
Flooding with fire the drops
Spilled on miraculous leaves
Of the fresh green lime-tree tops.
Washed gravel glittered red
To a wall, and beyond it nine
Tall limes in the old inn yard
Rose over the tall inn sign.
And voices arose from beneath
Of boys from school set free,
Racing and chasing each other
With laughter and games and glee.
To the boy at the high room-window,
Gazing alone and apart,
There came a wish without reason,
A thought that shone through his heart.
I’ll choose this moment and keep it,
He said to himself, for a vow,
To remember for ever and ever
As if it were always now.