Monday, February 12, 2007

After A While

A long time ago I chanced upon this poem in a book. It reminded of what was it like to love and how we should love at all times.

I know that there are times when loving someone becomes difficult and that we are bound to get hurt from time to time. Then you realize that after a while you learn..that life does go on...

AFTER A WHILE (Veronica Shoftshall, 1971)

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts

and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept
your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child

And you learn to build

all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

And you learn

that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...

Then After "after a while" you change and build your hopes again. And pray that maybe this time it will be different. And you hold on to that hope because in the end that's all you really have..


After 'after a while'
You want to hold a hand not to chain a soul but
to enjoy its company,
and you want someone's lips to kiss,
not because you are lonely but because you are
happy, and you want to give presents
and you want to make promises.

After 'after a while'
You begin to accept your defeats like an adult,
but like a child, will want someone to listen
and care,
and you want someone who will build roads with
you today so maybe you can pave the way for your
future together.

After 'after a while'
You want someone's sunshine and warmth,
but also accept the rain and the cold,
and you want to give flowers picked from your
own garden.

And when your garden is picture perfect,
you want it to be more than a picture
even if it means having to be imperfect
because you want someone in it to stay and to

Then you'll see that there is
such a thing as love...
and that you were made to live in someone else's
and you'll know that there is more to life than

You realize that no matter how tightly you hold,
if you're meant to let go, you can
And then you will understand that love
gives you reasons to understand
even the most complicated situations
And you will grow older believing that just
because you have convictions
doesn't mean you're always right

You will remember lips because of the smiles
that made your day,
the words that touched your soul, not only
because of the sweet kisses

And as you graciously accept defeat and absorb
the meaning of lessons
You feel that you are finally being the person
you never thought you'd be

So, armed with courage, strength and confidence,
you will face the world
head on...
With or without an army behind you
Because you know your worth and that alone is an

With more heartbreaks you will cry
But after every heartache, you will rise

Life is a garden ... it takes long to make it
But it's always worth the wait..

this is for all of us who patiently waits
It will be worth the wait... keep the faith.


Judy Heinrich said...

I googled for this poem and ran across your blog. It is BEAUTIFUL and so well done. Definitely what I needed today to read. So thank you for that! :)

eunsuh said...

i chanced upon your blog and i think you wrote something really interesting!
It really felt good reading it.
You made a soul happy today!^^

Ashwin said...

i had gone thru this 1 in th chicken soup for the soul,
then i went searchin for this 1 again
& guess what???
i came accross this post of urs & this was really marvellous

Ashwin said...

i had gone thru this 1 in th chicken soup for the soul,
then i went searchin for this 1 again
& guess what???
i came accross this post of urs & this was really marvellous

Hazel said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and Im glad the post helped brighten your day :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing...i needed this now. this is really comforting..thanks..

samantha said...

Im only 19 and just went through my first heartbreak i guess you could say. I was speaking to my grandma about it and she gave me a print out that was on her fridge of "After A While" she said that her mother who had went through a terrible relationship with her father found it in an article or something and always kept it with her. I know it touched my grandma and great grandma and now it did for me too.

ashcity2000 said...

this poem has made the most impact in my life than a lot of the other ones i read. came across it in 1991 and fell in love with it, but did not know the poet. your blog sure scans it well. thank u for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I love your "extension" of the poem. I have bookmarked your blog site. I will visit again. Thank you.

Aids Tecson said...

Hi Hazel, It's funny how I stumbled upon this entry of your blog. More than 15 years ago, when I was still in college, I wrote a poem and sent it to a few friends. Email was still very new then so I didnt really have a lot of people to send it to. Just today, I thought of googling the title, and lo and behold I didnt even know that it became viral. My name is Adrian and I am the original writer of After "After a While". I wrote it after reading the original "After a While" by Veronica Shoftshall.

Anyway, I'm glad it got to you and you liked it. Cheers!

Adrian Tecson

J said...
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J said...
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J said...

My mom had this poem in her office for years and every time I visited I read it. I was happy to see the After "after a while". Made me so happy. I sent the whole thing to a few lady friends of mine. Every once in a while we need to be reminded of our own beauty and strength and this did just that. Thanks so much!


Ashu said...

Life's truths clothed in beauty...

Anonymous said...

Definitely a beautiful poem, but I was disappointed when I discovered the supposed author (Veronica Shoffstall) plagiarized it from Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. He died in 1986. The original poem is written in Spanish and is called "APRENDIENDO". The funny thing is that Veronica can be found on LinkedIn and still claims that she wrote the poem!

jinx said...

love this poem ....i was searching for the one by veronica and found this one .....i think i will copy it...thanks

fatima yahaya said...

Yes, this is also my first time of seeing the after after a while, a friend sent after a while to me a couple of years ago when I was going through heart break. This is really consoling. I have shared with a lot of friends and they all like it. Thanks for the share.

fatima yahaya said...

Hi, I also know about this peom but never knew the original author, but nevertheless, I appreciate that veronica posted this. Thanks for the info

jacqui said...

reality in bold print...i got all buzzed when i saw the after after a while piece and then choked when i read the AND NOW part. so well put and so true. we live in love then leave love. we grow and learn that our convictions are narrowly limited to our personal truths or what we want to be true. it's all about learning to let go and starting again...stronger. Thanks for this

Anonymous said...


“You Learn”

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.”

― Jorge Luis Borges
Read more quotes from Jorge Luis Borges

Cindy Dy said...

This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog.


Jennifer Miller said...

I have loved the original since high school. As a 43 year old single mother who has been chasing Prince Charming since my divorce... your sequel gave me chills. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I have the origional in my lockbox. I wrote it in 1984. I gave only one copy to the young man who hurt me. I was 17. I later found it hanging in the kitchen of a new friend when I moved to Wa from OH in 1993. Still the origional, author anno. I later received an Ann Landers copy from an elder who tried to make me feel better as I went through a divorce in 2004 but this time it was slightly different and was claimed by Veronica. I was mad and hurt. I emailed Veronica when I learned how to use the internet. She denied it, of course, and quickly closed her poetry web site. She claims it was written in 1971 but check the library of congress to see when she actually filed for copywrite. I also called her college in Utica NY to check The Ivy, a small college year book where she claimed to have first published it. They called back and said that when the checked the alumni books they found only a loose leaf copy slipped into the bound book, which did not surprise me, of course. Check these facts for yourself. I forgave her and thanked her for getting it out. If it was up to me, it would still be in a box under my bed. I do not know the male author mentioned above but it was not his. I can tell you why each line was written. But, I will not. I I will let Veronica claim it, or anyone else who wants to. I do not need glory. The origional wording can be viewed in chicken soup for your soul, 2nd edition. God inspired my words in 1994 to comfort me from 2004 until now.
Those who chose to believe in our creator Jesus can meet me in heaven someday. After awhile you will learn...truth.

Noemi Hernández said...

Hi, I found this text because, I'm trying to find de original author, thats means inside the web this text have 3 authors... now because this blog says Veronica Shoftshalls is the author... Someone can help me?

Unknown said...

This is the true author. She had gone overlooked for a very long time and as she has said, she doesn't care about being recognized. I am her daughter and I want people to realize the truth. It bugs me to no end that this is going on overlooked. The poem should have stayed anonymous.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to "Anonymous" claiming to have wrote this in 1984 and having the "original in their lockbox."

If you wrote this in 1984, then how did I first see it in 1982 when I was a freshman in high school and my English teacher had a framed copy of it hanging in her classroom? Amazing how that could happen huh? You say "Those who chose to believe in our creator Jesus can meet me in heaven someday. After awhile you will learn...truth." Maybe it's time for you to wake up and stop the lies. If you are a true Christian, you will be judged at the gates for your life of lies and deception. Maybe you should think about that.

Anonymous #2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hello, I am the unknown that commented on the post you are calling into question. I offer you this. Perhaps she got the date wrong, perhaps you go the date wrong. Memory is a fickle thing and people confuse the times when the see something or did so thing all the time. It's called phycology. As for her being judged for lying and deciding, if you are so concerned about the truth why don't you look up the information she provided yourself. Research it.

All points aside, should it really matter whether she wrote it or not?(she did) the poem has reached such a wide spread population and helped so many people whom it would have never reached had she kept it to herself. It's by the grace of God that this poem was circulated. It is clear that God had a plan for this. I do hope that someday the truth will be revealed but if that day is in heaven then so be it. I'll just be happy knowing the truth and try not to be frustrated when other people claim it.

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