Saturday, January 30, 2010

old age sticks

old age sticks
up Keep

youth yanks them
down (old
cries No

youth laughs
old age

scolds Forbid
den Stop
n't Don't

&)youth goes
right on
owing old

I've always liked this tour de force by e e cummings, and I'm especially fond of the GR in "growing old." GRRR. Of course, I don't suppose anyone is really happy about growing old, but some of my friends seem to be enjoying retirement a whole lot more than I am. Why is that? I guess I was prompted to start a blog mostly because I wanted to write about this odd new status that I'm experiencing: you know--decline. Yeah, I'm aware of the old truism that we start to decline as soon as we're born. But the experience of that deterioration is, in fact, pretty new to me.

So I'm going to use these pages to chronicle that experience. Actually, this could be rather fun, in a perverse way. Retirement has given me something that I find both painful and rewarding: time to reflect about stuff. When I was working 12 hours a day, correcting essays, writing lesson plans, trying desperately to dupe kids, colleagues, administrators and the state of California into believing that I knew what I was talking about--well, in those days, I rarely found myself alone in a room with nothing to do but think about anything I wanted to think about. Now, I can do that--if I can stand to do it.

If I can stand to get past the GRRRR, maybe I can put up some Keep Off signs for--well, I don't know for whom, really. Some of my former students, maybe, if they choose to read me. If not, perhaps just for me, and the even older person that I hope I might still become. KK.

1 comment:

  1. I hope to be the first "poster" on your blog! Finally you have done what so many who love you have suggested...WRITE! A book and possible movie deal could be in the works. So proud of you and ee for inspiring you. I always loved this poem when I taught it, but the kids could never "get" it.