Friday, June 01, 2007

Ogden Nash on Aging

Not all of the poems by the famous Ogden Nash were comic. Indeed, Nash penned several that were quite poignant and profound. Among those are the two dealing with age that I print here:

Old Men

People expect old men to die,

They do not really mourn old men.

Old men are different. People look

At them with eyes that wonder when...

People watch with unshocked eyes;

But the old men know when an old man dies.

A Lady who Thinks She Is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,

Feels the sun with terror,

One unwilling step she takes,

Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight

Is old and gray and dirty;

Twenty-nine she was last night;

This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,

Like the twilight shining,

Haunted by a calendar,

Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,

Draw the mirror toward you;

Time who makes the years to whirl

Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;

Calendars for the human;

What's a year, or thirty, to

Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,

Yet soft her wing, Miranda;

Pick up your glass and tell me, then--

How old is Spring, Miranda?