Tag Archives: CHarles Hanson Towne

My favorite poem ever. And a dating website for virgins only

A good friend and I were talking about poetry the other night, and about our favorite poems. I’ve had the same favorite poem since I was about, oh, I don’t know, 10 or 11, when my Dad first shared it with me. I used to have a copy of it hanging by my desk at work, but that was a few jobs ago and it’s been lost.

Thinking about it the other night made me want to share it here; it partially explains why I’m kind of obsessive about staying in touch with my friends.

It’s called “Around the Corner,” and it’s by Charles Hanson Towne, written in 1900:

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Go ahead. Call or email someone you haven’t talked to in a while. You’ll feel better.

**This is another one of those websites that couldn’t possibly exist, but it does.

There’s a new dating website for those who have never experienced the joys of sex. It’s called YouandMeArePure.com, and it’s supposed to only be a matching site for virgins.

I, like this writer here, have lots of questions. How can they really be sure that members are truly virgins? Are virgins somehow only attracted to other virgins?

And on a site like this, is the sexual innuendo even more tame than on other sites? Like, is a hot and steamy conversation something like, “I really want to touch your left thigh?”

No, seriously, all jokes aside, I think this is a useful site. Everyone who’s still a virgin past age 16 thinks they’re the only one in the world like them. And any website that makes people feel less alone is a good thing in my book.

My favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. And a poem to make you think.

God I love today. Always have, always will. You can have Christmas or New Year’s or the Fourth of July, but I will always take Turkey Day ahead of all of them.

So many reasons I love Thanksgiving, but here are just a few. It’s the best eating day of the year. Between turkey and stuffing and gravy and sweet potatoes and desserts, I gorge more on this day than on any other. I love the feeling of positively stuffing myself, realizing I’m full, then plowing ahead anyway, just because it’s the fourth Thursday of November.

I love being with family, some of whom now I only see once or twice a year. I love catching up with their lives, the good, the bad, and the strange. With all this Facebooking and IM’ing and emailing and cell phones, there’s something to be said for looking right into a person’s eyes and seeing their hurt or joy. I love Thanksgiving traditions, which in my family growing up meant the four of us cousins jumping up and down on my grandparents’ bed, and yelling the time out loud, (Don’t ask. I have no idea why we did that), predicting when my Grandma would finally come out of the kitchen and sit down and join us, and guessing which relative would fall asleep first (My money was always on my cousin Marni.)

I love watching football on Thanksgiving with relatives who never watch it the rest of the year. I love watching the Macy’s Parade and wondering just how freakin’ long it took to blow up those balloons (Fortunately, this year I ‘ll get an answer. My sister-in-law Lauren is dating a guy who has an apartment overlooking the spot where they blow up Snoopy and Shrek and Spongebob, and she spent Wednesday night watching the whole thing in rapt attention. I can’t wait to get the scoop.)

Most of all, though, I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving. We take a day out of our lives and stop and say to our loved ones and friends: I’m thankful for you. I appreciate having you in my life.

I think I’m pretty grateful guy; I say “please” and “thank you” as much as anyone I know. But on this day of all days, I think I should take some time to be grateful for all that I have: A job I love. A wife I love even more. Amazing and supportive friends and relative. And lots more stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and go ahead, have that extra helping of cranberry sauce: You deserve it.

On a final note, I wanted to reprint my favorite poem of all time, one I feel is a credo of mine: Never forget your friends, and always make the time for them. It’s called “Around the Corner,” and it’s by Charles Hanson Towne:

Around the corner I have a friend,

in this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone,

And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell

And he rang mine.

We were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men;
Tired with trying to make a name
Tired with playing a foolish game.

“Tomorrow,” I say, “I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I’m thinking of him.
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner! Yet miles away …
“Here’s a telegram, sir.
Jim died today.”

And that’s what we get and deserve in the end
Around the corner, a vanished friend.