Monday, 10 June 2013

A Poem for Auden

When I am older and my body's withered
and in the cold I shall tend to shiver,
will I sweat with the scratch of a woollen jumper?
Will I roam the landing with a swollen bladder?
Will I still feel as spritely as I did at twenty?

And to have loved just once, would that be plenty?
Or is it number that counts, and how frequently?
And will my face be wrinkled as a giant ear
from all the listening that I've done, from all I hear?
Will I still be as gay as I was at twenty-one?

And will I look back on all the things that I've done
and say, Now that was a life - I sure lived the one!
Or will I be an embittered old man, looking to my first-born:
Son, don't follow in my path. Catch the sun. Keep it warm.
I shall be different. I shall remain the same. I'll not dither.

I shall not be hard as a consonant, the typewriter's mechanical
sounds. I shall be soft as sibilance. No tyrannical rounds shall
boom and blast and blast and boom; I'll be hush as noon.
I will gander with whimsy and with each glance look anew.
I shall wonder serenely as a river that carries the view.

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