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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

ELDER POETRY INTERLUDE: Poem on My 79th Birthday

From time to occasional time, I receive a missive from Tom Delmore who always signs himself, Poet - and that he is. I told you about him and his work in a post last May and his most recent book of poems is available at Amazon and other places on the web.

Tom finds much more interesting poems about old age than I do and last week, he sent one by Peter Everwine who, Wikipedia tells us, grew up in western Pennsylvania

”...was educated in the Midwest. In 1962, he joined Philip Levine on the faculty of Fresno State University. He retired from there in 1992.

“He was a senior Fulbright lecturer in American poetry at the University of Haifa, Israel. In 2008, he was visiting writer at Reed College...

“Everwine is the author of seven collections of poetry...”

He currently lives in Fresno and has won a slew of awards through the years.

Today's poem is from Everwine's book, "Listening Long and Late," published in 2013. You can find that book and others by Everwine at Amazon and elsewhere on the internet.

The other thing I want to mention before you read this poem is that last June, I titled a post, Do Old People Smell Funny? which you can find here if you want to find out about that.

Here, then, Poem on My 79th Birthday. It's short and sure to make you smile.

This morning, in a jelly glass on my table,
a handful of the season's first violets—
a gift from the garden of a dear friend.
Old age, I'm told, has a discernible odor.
Who would have thought mine
would be so delicate,
so piercing sweet.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Monica Devine: Absolution


Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Discernible odor? Hah.

Try walking into the football locker room at your local middle school or high school. Pubescent boys stink to high heaven.

Beautiful Birthday poem-I really love it. As far as smells, the thing I hear the most is "old lady perfume" as in I hope they don't have on old lady perfume. Could it be that older people just have some individual preferences for fragrances that are not readily advertised today- Possibly an "old" favorite?

Lovely! Thanks. Dee

I second Dee's comment.

After reading your post on old people and odors I asked my daughter if I smelled bad. She replied that I couldn't smell bad if I tried.

I think old people don't smell as bad a young people if they keep themselves and their clothing clean. We no longer exude those hormones that contribute to body odor. I don't work hard enough to perspire so I feel sure that I don't smell of that odor. I do put a tiny dab of perfume behind my ears when I am going out. I want my friends to smell that when they hug me, but not otherwise. I hope it's "piercing sweet."

Bill has it so correctly. It is hormones that provide that odor to let mammals know they are ready for mating.

A glimpse of that far-away Spring with your poem.
And Happy Birthday.

Philip Levine and Peter Everwine were professors at Fresno State when I was there and they live in my home town.

What a nice thought on my 78th birthday! Comment a day late as yesterday was too full for blog reading. :)

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