Tag Archives: Aging

Jane Eyre on Caring for the Sick

As I support people who are sick and aging, I turn to Jane Eyre as a model of one who considers such activity to be, not a self-sacrifice, but a gift to herself.

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Federer, Unlike Ulysses, a Family Man Hero

Time and again with Roger Federer, thinking he is nearing his end, I have cited Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” He keeps proving me wrong. One reason may be because he has a different relationship with his family than Tennyson’s protagonist has.

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Kranz & Muriel Spark on Insulting the Aged

Today I share a poker post from my 61-year-old novelist and poker playing friend Rachel Kranz, about the indignities of being called “young lady” while at the poker table. Muriel Spark similarly objects to the indignities heaped upon those who are aging in her novel “Memento Mori.”

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How to Keep Beauty from Vanishing Away

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” works as a Lenten meditation on the beauty of God’s grace.

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Beaten Down by Life

This Scott Bates fable takes a sober look at the aging process.

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The Violins of Autumn

I still remember memorizing, as a child in a French school, Paul Verlaine’s deliciously sad “Chanson d’automne.”

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Wonder in an Old Leather Mitt

Emilio DeGrazia’s poems about an old leather mitt is a wonderful meditation on aging.

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The Night Father Fell Out of Bed

I take a page from James Thurber and the author of Madeleine as I describe “The Night My Father Fell Out of Bed.”

Posted in Belloc (Hilaire), Bemelmans (Ludwig), Thurber (James) | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Rises So Far Above into the Light?

Denise Levertov’s poem about moving amongst tall trees becomes a meditation on life and afterlife.

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Paying Poetic Homage to Life

Here’s a lovely poem which you probably don’t know about paying “homage to life.”

Posted in Supervielle (Jules) | Also tagged , | 5 Comments

The Bard Captures Old Age Perfectly

Since starting to care for aging parents, I’ve become very impressed with Shakespeare’s “the world’s a stage” speech.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

Returning Home to Aging Parents

Marilynne’s Robinson’s novel “Home” captures some of my own experience returning home.

Posted in Robinson (Marilynne), Roth (Philip K.) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poetry, a Lifeline for the Desperate

In Lee Chang Dong’s “Poetry,” an old woman poetry as a way to address the overwhelming challenges of her life.

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Ulysses: Do Not Go Gently into Retirement

A discussion of Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses” led a group of senior citizens to conclude that it’s about a man who is experiencing difficulties transitioning into retirement.

Posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Also tagged , | 5 Comments

Growing More Liberal as We Age

Frost may allude to the belief that we become more conservative as we age, but his own poetry refutes the claim.

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At 60, a Comfortable Old Scarecrow

Having just turned 60, I’ve been thinking of Teiresias. Wise though the blind seer may be, his advice doesn’t help others that much. Aging, in other words, appears to require humility.

Posted in Eliot (T.S.), Euripides, Johnson (Samuel), Sophocles, Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

With Aging, Abundant Recompense

  In a follow-up to yesterday’s post where I talked about my cancer-ridden friend Alan, I examine another passage from The Brothers Karamazov. This one is focused on aging generally, not just death. If you ever find yourself getting depressed about getting old, check it out.   And check out as well William Wordsworth’s Intimations […]

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“Up” Battles Aging Like . . . Beowulf?

Film Friday I was rewatching the Pixar film Up last week (it kicks off a series I am running on “animated films for adults”) and saw one scene that was simply too fantastical for belief. Geriatric hero Carl Fredricksen is battling with the even older Charles Muntz and both throw their backs out in the […]

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The Cataract Haunted Me Like a Passion

Ansel Adams, Yosemite Falls          Julia, Toby (our youngest son) and I visited Yosemite National Park for the first time last week, and I am still vibrating from the stunning rock faces and gorgeous waterfalls.  It was remarkable to see what seemed, at a distance, to be thin, almost delicate, streams of water pouring from great […]

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Brett Favre and the Poetics of Failure

Brett Favre  I watched in amazement this past Sunday as 40-year-old Brett Favre, despite being pounded by the defense of the New Orleans Saints in the National Football League’s National Conference championship game, pulled himself off the grass time and time again to keep on playing. It was an extraordinary chapter in a career that […]

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