Poetry and Aging Parents

For Exhausted Caregivers…

This wonderful poem by John O’Donohue speaks to the world of caregivers who can quickly lose their mooring and are looking for language, strategies and rituals to help them recover from these unavoidable forays into in “empty time.” For One…

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Inconvenient Eulogy

  Inconvenient Eulogy  by David Solie   Even when things are going your way, Words don’t come easy on funeral day. Mourners turn up with guarded belief, Awaiting your words of pain and grief.   But others arrive with their…

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And Take My Waking Slow….

  The Waking Theodore Roethke (1954) I Wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go. We think by feeling. What is there…

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The Ceremony of the Shoes

Embedded in the living towards the end lies a narrative about love under fatal duress. It is a space that refines courage and fosters an unexpected elegance. Frannie Lindsay’s poem below is about how this elegance, born of love and…

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Wishes

Aging is like a zoom lens. The longer we hang around, the clearer we see what matters. We also see what was worth a second look or might be included in a second chance. Anne Porter’s poem “Five Wishes” is…

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Once Young Parents

Worn photographs of once young parents are preludes to well known destinies, historical starting points that stir speculation about what might have been. This is the space that Deborah Cummins has captured in her striking poem “Another Life.” It reminds…

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Memory’s Departure

Try as we might, memory is built like a cat, seeming tamed and committed only to turn and be inexplicability gone, maybe for good. Billy Collins’ brilliant poem “Forgetfulness” gives metaphoric voice to this unraveling that ties us in cerebral…

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Poetry and Aging Parents, Part 6

We grant the old a special courage to weather the slings and arrows of aging, but we forget their older brains are rewired for contemplation, a benefit that goes far beyond facilitating life review. This unique capacity of second half…

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Poetry and Aging Parents, Part 4

Adult children live in a bittersweet world of loss and gratitude regarding aging parents. Barbara Crooker’s poem All Saints Day captures this emotional mixture as it attends her mother’s leaving… All Saints Day By Barbara Crooker It’s one day past…

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Poetry and Aging Parents, Part 3

The loss of an aging parent is not an isolated event. Rather, their passing is part of the thinning social fabric of middle age and beyond. Siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins friends, associates and casual acquaintances all start to take their…

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