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(11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930 / Nottinghamshire / England)

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Beautiful Old Age

It ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.

The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life
lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies
they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins
in their old age.

Soothing, old people should be, like apples
when one is tired of love.
Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft
stillness and satisfaction of autumn.

And a girl should say:
It must be wonderful to live and grow old.
Look at my mother, how rich and still she is! -

And a young man should think: By Jove
my father has faced all weathers, but it's been a life!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004


Read poems about / on: autumn, girl, father, peace, smile, mother, people, beautiful, life, weather

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  • Stanton Hager (11/12/2012 8:51:00 AM)

    Lawrence writes out of a young man's fantastic naievte and cultural idealism of old age. Old myself, I know hundreds of the elderly, none of whom think their aged state soothing or fragrant or wonderful-none who would not be young again.

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  • Daniel Tait (9/3/2012 6:08:00 PM)

    Very good poem. A real classic.

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