Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Oak: Poem

Photo by
Bob Gutowski.
I'm interested in poetry that focuses on aging.  Here Tennyson uses the four seasons to describe how people experience life stages.

The Oak

Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Summer-rich
Then; and then
Autumn-changed
Sober-hued
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall'n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked Strength.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson


I would argue that older adults can start new projects and new relationships in ways that look like the rebirth of spring.  And younger people can feel stripped down and bare, going through a winter-like sparsity that reveals their core self surviving.

Nevertheless, I like how this poem celebration of inner strength. Whether people suffer losses in late life or during younger decades, they can project strength, dignity and majesty.  Rather than focusing on what's been lost, we have an invitation to celebrate their strength.

Please enjoy this reading of the poem:


Related:

May Sarton: Poet

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