Friday, March 11, 2005

Inspired by Alice Mattison's sharp-tongued instruction that I read more poetry (in order to stop writing "jargon"), and also by Myfanwy's similar good taste in poetry, I'm posting one today. Don comes to Bennington, and one of the best "lectures" ever was when he and his longtime friend Robert Bly got together to talk and read poetry...

Donald Hall

To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.


At 7:08 AM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

oooooooooh lovely! thanks for this!


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