Rate this poem:(4.00 / 3 votes)

110 Film



My eyes are old
Maybe failing now
I tend to recall days
Caught in the viewfinder
Of a bargain store 110 camera
Snapshots of summer picnics
Birthday parties and holidays
Until it, too, was lost
Long after it went out of vogue,
I choose to lie to myself
It actually went away in an exodus
Now, out of focus,
My eyes require corrective lenses
To read books and mail
In dim light, I stumble over
Letters and numbers
But my mind is fading, too
Overexposing those photos from
The effects of age
Until people are unrecognizable,
Backgrounds bleeding into question marks
It was so long ago, at a zoo, a fair?
I had my picture taken with
A costumed superhero
Someone else looking through the viewfinder
Yet it found its way into my mental collection
Like so many other things:
Glowing vacuum tube radios
Silent moving pictures
Walks along train tracks
Things that don't matter to anyone else
Because they don't fit anywhere but here
I'll keep them as long as I can
Yet, in the end, what the shutter captured
On rolls of plastic strips
Developed in the darkrooms of our brains
Decays like old celluloid films
We paid a dollar or less to see
Never expecting the intermission
Reel change to be the last time
It is played before a cheering audience

About this poem

We often look at life as a series of discrete events instead of a continuous timeline. Those things that really mattered, for whatever reason, are filed away for eternity. Yet as time passes, the fidelity of the memory becomes perturbed, distorted, or lost. We try to accept that version to be as near truth as possible, fading and all, because we don't want it to go away forever.

Font size:
 

Written on May 10, 2022

Submitted by n0qlt on June 08, 2022

1:09 min read
94 Views

H. Russell Smith

I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and live in a small town in Missouri. In addition to being a poet, I am an electrical engineer, an avid Ham Radio Operator, and a New Mexico chile pepper fanboy. more…

All H. Russell Smith poems | H. Russell Smith Books

(2 fans)

Discuss this H. Russell Smith poem with the community:

2 Comments
  • amichaelewell
    Out of all entries, this poem stood out most in my eyes. It has no rhyme, rhythm nor pattern. To its credit, it also does not have an attempt to force an evocative response in the reader. Instead, it allows the reader to be drawn into the elderly speaker's mind as they compares faded pictures to faded memory, allowing the reader to ultimately find their own conclusions and personal connections. 
    LikeReplyReport5 months ago
  • lovingempath
    The powerful imagery and melancholy sincerity were like a gut-punch. And this was not an easy month for voting...this poem was up against some pretty heavy competition!
    LikeReplyReport5 months ago

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"110 Film" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Nov. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/129027/110-film>.

Become a member!

Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

More poems by

H. Russell Smith

»

November 2022

Poetry Contest

Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.
1
days
17
hours
21
minutes

Browse Poetry.com

Quiz

Are you a poetry master?

»
Who wrote the poem “Funeral Blues"?
  • A. W. H. Auden
  • B. Amy Clampitt
  • C. Pablo Neruda
  • D. Victor Hugo