“I Dreamed That I Was Old” by Stanley Kunitz

Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have another birthday. It was such a beautiful day that I largely avoided the painful introspection that usually accompanies birthdays. Then that night, I checked my email, and read the daily poem I get in my Inbox, and there it was, the perfect birthday poem:

“I Dreamed That I Was Old” by Stanley Kunitz

I dreamed that I was old:  in stale declension
Fallen from my prime, when company
Was mine, cat-nimbleness, and green invention,
Before time took my leafy hours away.

My wisdom, ripe with body’s ruin, found
Itself tart recompense for what was lost
In false exchange:  since wisdom in the ground
Has no apocalypse or pentecost.

I wept for my youth, sweet passionate young thought,
And cozy women dead that by my side
Once lay:  I wept with bitter longing, not
Remembering how in my youth I cried.

kunitz

Stanley Kunitz
1905 – 2006

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One Response to “I Dreamed That I Was Old” by Stanley Kunitz

  1. Earl says:

    Then it’s Happy Birthday to you in any case!

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