And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Raymond Carver's poem Late Fragment


  1. Giovanna says:

    this poem owns the very reason of my life. love carver and the sparkling simplicity of his words.

  2. Susannah says:

    This is simply my most favorite of poems. Evokes so much emotion. A lifetimes work in 30 words!

  3. Caroline says:

    I love this simple, honest, universal question so much I send it to everyone who is important to me. It reminds me that I am only here because my ancestors existed and strived against great odds. Hopefully I am justified by being “beloved” in my lifetime. Carver’s own difficulties give hope that being beloved is still possible, if you have luck & strength (as Mario Puzo said) and you have the courage to give unconditional love.
    Since reading this poem, I quietly gaze at the beloved and the unbeloved – and realise Carver said it all in those beautiful few words…

  4. ed markowski says:

    for this most brilliant of writers, a simple poem

    december layoff
    the mall santa,
    can make toys.”

  5. Ellen says:

    A friend read me this, now my favorite poem, after my infant son died. I took great comfort in the beautiful but simple words. In this world, whether life is short or long, love is what matters in the end.

  6. Jo Lancaster says:

    My favourite poem of all. Late Fragment brings me to tears everytime I read it. So simple but in its simplicity so powerful. A few short lines that deliver a rush of emotion to the heart. After all its about love and what is life without that? A fitting epitaph to life. Wonderful stuff !

  7. wilma harth says:

    would be interest in literal tranlation or comments
    I loved this poem!

  8. alan says:

    could agree more Brittni. Carver is a deep, often subtle writer, but there are times, particularly in his poetry, when he utters simple affirmative statements such as this one. there is no ‘hidden meaning’ here, no opportunity for epistemological debate, but that’s what makes this poem so special for me. it is Carver uttering simple truths that tear your heart open.

  9. Brittni says:

    Everything about this poem is perfect. I absolutly love it. It is the best thing that could have ended “A new path to the waterfall”. The poem has a sense of closure, that gives a happy outlook on the end of Ray’s life. I think this and Hummingbird are my favorite poems from “A new path to the waterfall”.

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