Sorrows Me Still – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Cry Me A river 

Amaya Engleking has invited a poem on a piece of music that brought tears. So many choices!

Video: found on YouTube – Gordon Lightfoot singing “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.”


Sorrows Me Still

The crew never knew as they bid farewell
for their regular gig on the lake,
that treachery would strike
by the weight and the wind,
not by jury or flag,
twenty-nine had plotted their time,
played their regular goodbyes
unbeknown, for the very last trip.
I read it in 75 in the time
but I lost it when I heard Gordon sing,
his chords played my heart
with a harrowing wrench
and eased a tear along my cheek,
mournful and thoughtful
the church bell ringing the toll
made me weep,
and the futility
sorrows me still.

©Paul Vincent Cannon




Filed under Free Verse, grief, history, life, music, poem

58 responses to “Sorrows Me Still – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Thanks a lot for the beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww Paul, this is an absolute favourite of mine! I can listen to Gordon Lightfoot forever and this song always moves me to tears. Your words echo the sentiments beautifully. Hugs for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hadn’t heard of this disaster, but unexplained ship wrecks are always harrowing. I love your expression, ‘sorrows me still’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This one is eerie and mournful no matter how many times I’ve heard it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Something worth reading.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. this Gordon Lightfoot song is so moving and any tragedy is heart wrenching, well written Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sad catastrophe Paul, and a sad song of remembrance by Gordon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul, what a beautiful poem. I always felt Gordon Lightfoot sounded so ethereal for some reason.


  9. I remember Gordon Lightfoot’s music. We often don’t know when our goodbyes are our last.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a tragedy. There is something especially sad, left unfinished, about dying at sea (lake.) That you mention it was just another day on the water, the unprecedented course of life (death) ought to make us all think about our present moment. Thanks, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” gets me every time. Your poem has done justice to the loss. I love these lines “twenty-nine had plotted their time, played their regular goodbyes”. Heavy sigh…knowing you are going down, and there will be no more good byes or the chance to make things right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Heather. Yes, they knew they were going, before they lost radio contact, the coast guard had heard that was the likely plan to abandon, but in a storm like that! Yes, the wrench of going.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. lync56

    Beautiful and sad poem


    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve done a fair share of wreck diving in the Great Lakes, and many times this song ran through my mind as I passed over and through those wrecks. You poem relates that feeling very well.

    Back in the ’90s, I visited the lighthouse museum at Whitefish Point. From there I went to the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, and by coincidence Arthur M. Anderson (the ship that had last contact with Edmund Fitzgerald) was passing through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, and thank you too for reflecting and sharing. Wrecks are popular here too for divers, many sad stories. I’ve never dived, only snorkelled, but I can imagine the amazing moments you’d encounter.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love any song telling a story… this one I had not heard of before… There is one (alas in Swedish) about a ship going under close the coast of Sweden and pilot goes out and saves the crew only to find that the only one lost was his son who was bound to the wheel (and forgotten onboard)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love this poem. Thank you, Paul! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I had the privilege of seeing Gordon Lightfoot last November. When he sang this song, the crowd was in tears. Having lived in Michigan a few years, the story always moves me. Poetry through song is a good way to reach the heart and make us remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dragyonfly

    ahh yes, “those going down to the sea in ships songs”. This one was a bit different I had no idea it was a lake until my Michigan native husband told me. I was like how do you get sunk in a lake?? So I was told about the lakes that should have been oceans. But I like your reply to the song. I always cried about Brandy your a fine girl and other Shanties and sea songs such as Haul on the Bowline.
    Thanks for the remembering

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar

    You retell this beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sorrow and loss can descend on every mundane day, your poem captures that powerfully. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.