That time of year thou mayst in me behold
Poets don't grow old gracefully:
recall old lusts with Hardy
or clamour like Yeats for new.
'How are you?' people ask them, meaning
'Goodness, you're still alive.'
'Are you still writing?' signals
'If so, you're quite forgotten.
I haven't seen any reviews,'
and 'Aren't you going gently yet
into your good night?'
Gower, his loins frozen by Venus,
piped of a king and his bounty of wine.
Did he who'd sung of every turn and twist
of love regret the arrow's sting he'd begged
Love's priest to tear from his heart
as he lay apart from his chaste ...