Let Me Die A Youngman's Death Poem by Roger McGough

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death

Rating: 4.1

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death
Bou Aliyya 17 July 2010

When I was 20 I took this poem as my motto. Today, at 64 and sitting in a hostel in the old city part of Kashgar on the Silk Road, in sweltering temperatures - it's STILL my motto. Is it still yours, Roger and, if so, what are you doing about it?

53 17 Reply
Cassandra Coghlan 24 April 2012

This poem causes resentment to well up inside me. Not that I want it to, its a great poem. My indignation comes from knowing how it feels to lose a young man to a young man's life. He was 28. A long life has its own privileges, and price. How dare it feel it the right to turn what is a young man's price into its cherry on top.

22 33 Reply
Andy Morris 23 June 2013

Hang me from The highest tree If hanging be my destiny So at the moment That I die You'll know I went With head held high Andy Morris

34 13 Reply
Susan Williams 06 October 2015

I love the way he handles words- running them together, chasing them from line to line, and I like that he doesn't want to slip peacefully into the night

40 5 Reply
Teenage Mawuto 06 February 2016

I have decided to dig his grave and eat his brains

20 20 Reply
WIlliam Jones 23 August 2022

At 72 this poem says a lot about age. I to do not want a great between the sheets. I perfer to go out like a loin, not a lamb. In my younger years I qS active, sought danger and action. Now at my age I can no longer act like that, the mind wants to, the body says no.

1 0 Reply
Paul Myer 11 July 2022

Many of us will get to a point where we will embrace death and it's release from life's pains. But who being young and strong of body, being alert in mind, being a young man/woman feeling life is yours for the taken, would embrace death. Death is for the old as nature decrees.

1 0 Reply
Paul Myer 11 July 2022

If we live long enough we get to a point where we are happy for death's embrace.

3 0 Reply
K.N 02 December 2021

I am 9 years old, and I came across this poem because of a homework assigned by my teacher, I love this poem! ! ! ! ! ! !

5 0 Reply
Lisa Flores 29 November 2021

Like this.

0 1 Reply
Roger McGough

Roger McGough

Liverpool / England
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