Write Yours Now - Poem by Michael Shepherd
The 'Journal of Death Studies' for April2004
(maybe you read it? It's in the
hospital library, top shelf
just out of wheelchair reach,
on the shelf labelled 'Reference')
nonfiction writers tend to die, factually, at sixty-eight;
novelists tie it all up at sixty-six;
playwrights lower the curtain at sixty-three,
and poets close their stanzas at sixty-two.
six years - looking on the bright side -
for your favourite biographer to write you up;
four years for novelists to borrow
your untidy life and win the Booker Prize;
a year for playwrights to emulate
the bitter dialogue of your later,
less romantic household years
with less fear of being sued.
Those whom the gods love, die young,
said the optimistic poet
shortly before he died.
for PoHo, who gave me the damn book with the reference in.
And yes, I wondered too..
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Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye