I enjoyed the poem, and its gradual shift from melancholy to resoluteness. I may be way off base, but this poem struck me as the thoughts Dumbledore had during that moment in DH when Harry views Snape's memories. The questions aren't ones I could ever see Dumbledore asking out loud, but silently, yes. They painted a portrait of a wistful old man who knows his end is near and is trying to reassure himself that his plans will be carried out.
You used "if" to begin lines fourteen times: once more than Kipling did in his poem If. When I read these lines:
If my plan goes awry,
If everything is in shambles,
I especially thought of Kipling's poem.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
But that an "And" to start the line after 'if' would work well in your poem.
The imagery of stumbling over a knotted root in life's path was vivid and effective. The porcelain doll simile, though, seemed more stock than what a man of Dumbledore's years would use, and repetetive, as well, with "smashed" and "shattered" back to back. If the line was Like the remains of my sister's long-ago doll or something else personal I think it would have worked better.
The last line was Dumbledore's dry humor to a tee, and made me imagine the actor Richard Harris and his twinkling blue eyes.
Thank you for sharing.
Author's Response: I actually designed this poem to be a "conversation" poem. Rather as if Albus and Severus were walking somewhere, and this was what Albus was saying. However, I think that your interpretation certainly has some merit. These aren't things that would ever really be said aloud. So, in reality, this is more like an imaginary conversation held in his head. And I absolutely imagined Richard Harris (not Gambon) when I was writing this. It felt a lot more like something he would think than anyone else. Thank you very much for the review!
Reading through it I can totally imagine Snape’s indignant responses. And your right, it is good! I personally would have made it into a story but it had a nice (for lack of better word) feel to it, being a one-sided conversation. =)
Author's Response: But some things are better left to the imagination, don't you think? Thank you for reading and I'm glad that you enjoyed it.