Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Ode To Age

“….O! sweet to me the laughing hours,
When earth seemed gay, and heaven was fair;
When fancy culled her thornless flowers,
And pleasure reigned unknown to care....” — William B. Tappan


      “Why so scrawny, cat?
Starving for fat fish or mice….
Or backyard love?” — Basho

    Midweek Motif ~ Ode To Age

We are paying homage to Age.

In his essay “Of Youth and Age Francis Bacon says,A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he have lost no time. But that happeneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second.”

You may write about youth, old age or even about a distinct period of history or literature.

An eminent literary or historical figure in your poem is also most welcome.

Here is an ode to Age by Pablo Neruda:

Ode To Age

by Pablo Neruda

I don't believe in age.
All old people
in their eyes,
a child,
and children,
at times
observe us with the
eyes of wise ancients.
Shall we measure
in meters or kilometers
or months?

How far since you were born?
How long
must you wander
like all men
instead of walking on its surface
we rest below the earth?
To the man, to the woman
who utilized their
energies, goodness, strength,
anger, love, tenderness,
to those who truly
and in their sensuality matured,
let us not apply
the measure
of a time
that may be
something else, a mineral
mantle, a solar
bird, a flower,
something, maybe,
but not a measure.
Time, metal
or bird, long
petiolate flower,
man's life,
shower him
with blossoms
and with
or with hidden sun.
I proclaim you
not shroud,
a pristine
with treads
of air,
a suit lovingly
through springtimes
around the world.
time, I roll you up,
I deposit you in my
bait box
and I am off to fish
with your long line
the fishes of the dawn!

translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden 

The Charge of the Light Brigade
by Alfred Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.


“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

                       (The rest is here

London, 1802
by William Wordsworth

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
                (Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Prayer.)


  1. Happy Wednesday fellow poets. Thanks you Sumana a lovely prompt

    much love...

  2. Hey Sumana! So good to see you and read the fine poetry here! I've been unable to talk about human age today, achy, achy day, and I had wanted to write praise to the wisdom of age. But, all I could think of today is the crust that sits over so many of us! Is it capitalism? Civilization? Money? Whatever, it's been in power too long. And, maybe now, having sung it away, I can get out there and praise the day and this old house and this wonderful blog. Happy day, everyone!

  3. I enjoyed your choice of poems this week especially the Basho LOL

  4. Thanks, Sumana. Your prompt poked a few thoughts out of the dusty old attic. Smiles. Will be back to read, am heading out into the sunshine right now......

  5. I'm sorry I missed Wednesday but I was feeling poorly and trying to keep up with a busy day. So happy Thursday! Thank you for this midweek's motif, Sumana, which is so close to home.

  6. Hello Sumana! Thank you for the thought provoking prompt.


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