Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Last Bend in the Road

I hope becoming sixty-five doesn't presage the last bend in the road. Personally, I'd like ten more years or even twenty, but I agree with John Reynolds that reaching sixty-five, possibly retired and with gray hair, one begins to think about: what's coming next; what's in the past; and how did I become the person I am?

My favorite poem is “One by One.” We see friends and relatives die. That they are no longer here can leave us lonely and sad, but if we can create a place for them inside our heads, “Then thankful I can always be/ That they can travel on with me.”

My other favorite is “Green.” The author looks out over his childhood home remembering it as it was with meadows and a stream, but that isn't the way it is today. Progress has torn up the meadows and diverted the stream to a pipe below the ground. Sometimes all you can do is be thankful for what you had. “In no place can I clearer see/How good my childhood was for me/By that remark I simple mean/I grew up when the world was green.”

Each poem is introduced by a quote from a well known work and accompanied by a picture. They are perfect choices to set the stage for the poems. I recommend this book for the thought provoking images whether you're sixty-five, twenty-five, or eighty-five they will speak to you.