Post Series: Poems with Explanations: With regret

Dear S.,

Alright, how does this start?  How do these words come out and float around, but not hit the target (but still hit the target)?  You know what this is going to say.  Why else would this be here?

It failed.

Wow, there’s a finality to that.  There it is.  It failed.  The coin is thrown in the pond.  It’s gone.

What are you thinking now?  Your mind is probably going through a whole kaleidoscope of things.  All those colors blending.

You have questions.  You’re probably upset.  If you’re wondering, there is an explanation.  But … does it really matter?  Who cares if this can be justified?  It just is.

There’s a desire here to apologize.  Something though, makes it feel condescending.  After all this … a little sorry?  The feeling of not wanting to hear it is understandable.

There isn’t anything that can make this better than it is.  There’s really no way to glue the vase back together.  Please know, whatever you feel should be felt here – it is.

With regret,

A. P.


This poem is written as a letter.  A. P. is writing a letter to tell S. that something failed.  A. P. is regretful and sorrowful but realizes that words are lacking in this situation.  A. P. is trying to express feelings and empathy, but is struggling.

The name S. simply stands for Someone.  The name A. P. stands for A Person.  While at first glance, this may seem a little bit underwhelming, the idea here was just to make these people nondescript.  They have no age, no gender, no nationality.  They are blank in some sense.  The idea was to not have the people distract from the letter.

The letter starts with Dear.  Starting a letter with To is impersonal.  Dear can be personal or impersonal depending on the situation.  In this case, there is a slight personal quality to it.

A. P. starts by asking a question. A. P. is trying to signify a difficulty in expressing something. They aren’t getting to the point right away.  Despite this though, in some way, by starting off point, A. P. is signifying to S. that the information is going to be bad.  The idea is that a person might not talk around a point, if the point were good.

The next sentence, again, reflects A. P.’s difficulty with expression.  A. P. wants to say something, without saying it.

In the next two sentences, A. P. realizes the conclusion from above – that not directly saying something, is implying that the something is going to be bad.  There is a presumption here, that A. P. not only realizes that S. sees this, but also, that S. knows what this letter is referring to.  A. P. realizes that S. has figured out the unspoken subject of the letter.

In the next paragraph, A. P. is short and direct.  A. P. gets to the point.  In the first paragraph, A. P. was struggling to say something.  Here, A. P. has forced themselves to say what they were afraid to say before.  A. P. doesn’t say what failed.  A. P. understands that S. will know what A. P. is referring to, without A. P. saying what it is.

In the next paragraph, A. P. writes again like the first.  There is almost an aside.  There is almost a commentary on the words of the letter.  A. P., in the first sentence, realizes that the paragraph before was like jumping from something.  There’s a finality to it.  There’s a sense, that once the jump is made, there is no way to go back.  That is how A. P. feels about directly saying that the something in question failed.  A. P. states the fact again and then uses a metaphor of a coin being thrown in a pond as an analogy.

After this, A. P. realizes that S. is impacted by the news that this something failed.  They wonder what S. is thinking about it.  They realize that there must be a mixture of different thoughts and emotions.

In the next paragraph, A. P. tries to express the idea that the mixture of things that S. is thinking and feeling, really doesn’t matter in a sense.  A. P. feels that the finality of the something failing, is so final, that there really isn’t any sense of talking about it.  It would be like analyzing something that will not be done again, what would be the point?

At this point, A. P. wants to apologize.  A. P. feels at fault for the failure.  A. P. resists this though.  They almost envision an upset S. saying, “After all this … a little sorry?”  A. P. realizes that S. will see the sorry as insufficient, and so much so, that it might be angering, and so A. P. doesn’t write it.

In the last paragraph, A. P. again expresses the finality of what has failed.  They use the analogy of trying to glue a shattered vase back together.  A. P. realizes that S. wants A. P. to feel something about this.  A possibility might be regret.  A. P. writes that they are feeling what they think S. would want them to feel.

A. P. then ends the letter expressing regret.

This poem is written as a letter, but still has poetic elements.

As mentioned above, the writer and receipt of the letter are only referred to with initials.

A. P. asks rhetorical questions.

Almost all of the letter has an indirect quality to it.

Analogies are used.

There are ten parts to the letter.

There is the idea that what failed, is never said.

A. P. doesn’t directly refers to themselves in the letter, with the exception of the ending.

Although unintentional, it does turn out that every letter of the alphabet was used at least once in the letter.


Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.