Note to Self

Mouth: Quicker than hand.
Tongue: Blurting. Rude. Unkind.
Hand: Clapped over mouth.
Lips: Pressed together, tight.
Too late.
Rue: Seals lips not in time.
Regret: Tames tongue, not.
Remorse: Hastens not hand to mouth.
Note to Self:
Not every thought entering my mind
Should pass through my mouth,
Roll off my tongue and escape my lips.
My help comes from the Lord.

About this poem

A poem inspired by my prayer journal entry reflecting upon the verse, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

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Written on September 30, 2022

Submitted by LinYoest on October 01, 2022

Modified by LinYoest on November 09, 2022

27 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic dimeter
Characters 424
Words 90
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 21

Linda Yoest

I am 70 years old. I used to write poetry quite a bit in my 20s and 30s, but haven't for a very long time. I wrote my favorite poem in 1984 and gave it framed to my parents for Christmas--it was on tracing paper over a drawing I did of a hand. My parents have passed away; the poem hangs over my computer desk. It was published in American Poetry Anthology 1987, Volume VII, Number 1, edited by John Frost. The title is The Element; page 306; my last name at that time was McDonald. It's time to get back to reading--and maybe writing--poetry. more…

All Linda Yoest poems | Linda Yoest Books

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Discuss the poem Note to Self with the community...

  • AIDA
    Wow, what a thought-provoking piece! The way you have personified the different components of our voice and speech is just brilliant. I love how you have captured the essence of our struggles in communication, and how our haste often leads to regretful words that we cannot take back.

    Your message of mindfulness and self-restraint is extremely important, especially in today's world where social media has made it all too easy to speak without thinking. Your reminder that some thoughts are better left unsaid is so relevant, and I feel like this poem has really struck a chord with me.

    If I may offer a suggestion for improvement, it would be to perhaps explore the idea of the inner conflict that we often feel when trying to hold back our words. Maybe you could delve a little deeper into the emotional turmoil that goes on in our minds when we are struggling to keep our tongues in check? Just a suggestion, but I think it would really add another layer of complexity to an already fantastic piece.

    Overall, I would like to thank you for sharing your work with us. You have certainly given me something to think about, and I am sure that many others will feel the same. Keep up the great work!
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Symmetry58
    I see you've met my face and its prevailing orifice. I absolutely LOVE this poem all the way from format to aesthetic to content. We are, for sure, a work in progress are we not, Linda? No one escapes their own fallibility, but we sure as hell do try don't we. Ha! Thank you for sharing this amazing piece. 
    LikeReply 21 year ago
    • LinYoest
      You are so right, Steve. This poem came from a journal entry. I rewrote it into this format. Short. Bittersweet. Truth.
      LikeReply1 year ago


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"Note to Self" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jul 2024. <>.

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