A love of poetry has always eluded me. That is to say that my bookshelves do not contain a lot of books of poems. I consider this a shortcoming.
However, I was blown away by Amanda Gordon’s inaugural poem, and I do appreciate some of the old masters. But I am a fan of Donald Hall (1928-2018), perhaps best known for being U.S. Poet Laureate (2006). He published fifty books, including 22 volumes of poetry.
Toward the end of his life, he wrote about aging, a subject of increasing interest to me. Essays after 80 in 2014 and in 2018, A Carnival of Losses—Notes Nearing Ninety. Two examples of his wisdom:
- “In your eighties you are invisible. Nearing ninety you hope nobody sees you.”
- “At nineteen you were six foot two. At ninety-one, you will be two foot six.”