gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Old Age - Poem by gershon hepner


Old age is the condition that defines
our situation, underlining truth
we all must face, ignoring its deadlines
unless we search for elixirs of youth.

It is a necessary horror
for all who do not prematurely die,
any makes of one a schnorrer,
on borrowed time awry.

Judith Shulevitz reviews J. M. Coetzee’s “Elizabeth Costello” (Viking) in “Author Tour: The chilly woman at the center of J. M. Coetzee’s novel is a writer far more comfortable with abstraction than affect” (NYT, October 26,2003) . She writes:

Old age is for Coetzee what nausea was for Sartre: our defining condition, the necessary horror that grants us access to a moral existence.

I added the second quatrain on 1/31/10


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 31, 2010

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