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Ten Poems about Getting Older

McCullough, John
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Candlestick Press
Published: June 25, 2021
ISBN: 9781907598913
20 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


Being old isn’t what it used to be. Sixty is the new forty. The world is full of expressions designed to make us feel better about the inevitable passing of the years.

This fascinating mini-anthology of poems selected by John McCullough – which includes the three winners of our ‘getting older’ poetry competition – opens with an enlivening meditation on the meanings of the word ‘spry’. The speaker delights in hopping up and down some hotel stairs when no one is looking and in the fact of being “inescapably me”. It matters not one jot that he is:

“like a dancer running out of melody,
a boulevardier running out of boulevard,
a prizewinner running out of shelf;”

from ‘Hop’ by Alasdair Paterson

The poems look in both directions; backwards to heydays of young love and time deliciously misspent, and forwards to the perils and thrills of middle age and beyond.

Poems by Elizabeth BishopEmily DickinsonRita DoveMark GranierJohn McCulloughFrank O’HaraAlasdair PatersonElvire RobertsJudith Shaw and Jackie Wills.

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