Jonathan Galassi

(1946 / Seattle, Washington)

Middle-Aged - Poem by Jonathan Galassi

He was middle-aged which
means that the mixture of
death and life in him was
still undetermined. And
all of a sudden he took
an unwarranted turn—impul-
sive, convulsive. As in
those nineteenth-century
plays where the roof gets
blown off the convention-
al house and the audience
is left to gape at the
heroine bareheaded—him.
He has a gift for self-
serious hyperbole and he
resorts to it regularly
to describe and explain
his behavior. Not that
anything happened. But
he stared into something,
an abyss or a garden, and
now in the aftermath he’s
more alone than before.
He has not been forgiven,
not that he wants to be.
What he wants is to know
what he saw, that it wasn’t
theatrics. But that’s
hard to achieve, things
being what they are, the
others implicated being
themselves. So he walks
in circles and wonders
and kicks at the leaves.


Comments about Middle-Aged by Jonathan Galassi

  • (2/9/2014 6:54:00 AM)


    Very interesting
    Wondering about life, trying to make sense of it
    Not sure what you want, yet feeling a lack of something
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (2/9/2013 4:23:00 PM)


    We all like to believe that time of life gone by was not theatrical or a dream but that is the strongest impression left to wonder about. This poem felt strange in reading yet left an impression. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (2/9/2012 7:41:00 PM)


    This is very good. it touches me. congratulation. (Report) Reply

  • (1/11/2012 7:54:00 AM)


    the mixture of
    death and life in him was
    still undetermined.
    Brilliant!
    (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012



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