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Famous Elderly Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Elderly poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous elderly poems. These examples illustrate what a famous elderly poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Whitman, Walt
...silent stand; 
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest, the first, just lift the blanket: 
Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-grey’d hair, and flesh all
 sunken
 about
 the eyes? 
Who are you, my dear comrade?

Then to the second I step—And who are you, my child and darling? 
Who are you, sweet boy, with cheeks yet blooming? 

Then to the third—a face nor child, nor old, very calm, as of beautiful yellow-white
 ivory; 
Young man, I think I k...Read More



by Pinsky, Robert
...n English lord, in love
With Adolf Hitler, whom she has met. She is taking
Possession of the apartment of a couple,
Elderly well-off Jews. They survive the war
To settle here in the Bay, the old lady
Teaches piano, but the whole world swivels
And gapes at their feet as the girl and a high-up Nazi
Examine the furniture, the glass, the pictures,
The elegant story that was theirs and now
Is part of hers. A few months later the English
Enter the war and she shoots her...Read More

by Rilke, Rainer Maria
...fine-spun veils of patience.-
With youths she walks in silence.

But there, where they live, in the valley,
an elderly Lament responds to the youth as he asks:-
We were once, she says, a great race, we Laments.
Our fathers worked the mines up there in the mountains;
sometimes among men you will find a piece of polished
primeval pain, or a petrified slag from an ancient volcano.
Yes, that came from there. Once we were rich.-

And she leads him gently t...Read More

by Wagoner, David
...
 Want to be good-neighborly bushes
(Though under the outer stems and leaves
 The thick, thick-headed, soot-blackened

 Elderly branches have been dodging
And weaving through so many disastrous springs,
 So many whacked-out, contra-
 Dictory changes of direction, they've locked

Themselves together for good). Yet each
 Original planting, left to itself, would be
 No fence, no partition, no crook-jointed
Entanglement, but a tree by now outspread

 With all of itself turned...Read More

by Dickinson, Emily
...His voice decrepit was with Joy --
Her words did totter so
How old the News of Love must be
To make Lips elderly
That purled a moment since with Glee --
Is it Delight or Woe --
Or Terror -- that do decorate
This livid interview --...Read More



by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...ach momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of
unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white
checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their
tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden...” I decided that if
the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments...Read More

by Pinsky, Robert
...> There's one
A journalist told me. He heard it while a hero

Of the South African freedom movement was speaking
To elderly Jews. The speaker's own right arm
Had been blown off by right-wing letter-bombers.

He told his listeners they had to cast their ballots
For the ANC--a group the old Jews feared
As "in with the Arabs." But they started weeping

As the old one-armed fighter told them their country
Needed them to vote for what was right, their vote
Could ma...Read More

by Lorde, Audre
...ght I should attend
and the darkness that we share.
Our deepest bonds remain
the mirror and the gun.

V.
An elderly Black judge
known for his way with women
visits this island where I live
shakes my hand, smiling.
"I knew your father," he says
"quite a man!" Smiles again.
I flinch at his raised eyebrow.
A long-gone woman's voice
lashes out at me in parting
"You will never be satisfied
until you have the whole world
in your bed!"

Now I am older than yo...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...In a club without a Man -- 
The Professor hardly counted 
He was crazy as a loon, 
With a countenance suggestive 
Of an elderly baboon. 
But the breath of Fate blew on it 
With a sharp and sudden blast, 
And the "Ladies' Science Circle" 
Is a memory of the past. 

There were two-and-twenty members, 
Mostly young and mostly fair, 
Who had made a great excursion 
To a place called Dontknowwhere, 
At the crossing of Lost River, 
On the road to No Man's Land. 
There t...Read More

by Fu, Du
...se come to ask You not know Xi Kang life nourish meet kill I, Du Fu, the duke's elderly guest, Finished my wine, drunkenly sang, and waved a golden halberd. I mounted my horse and suddenly remembered the days of my youth, The flying hooves sent stones pouring down into Qutang gorge. Baidicheng's city gates are beyond the water's clouds, Bending over, I plunged straight down eight thousand feet. Whitewashed battle...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...in return. Exiled Thucydides knewAll that a speech can sayAbout Democracy,And what dictators do,The elderly rubbish they talkTo an apathetic grave;Analysed all in his book,The enlightenment driven away,The habit-forming pain,Mismanagement and grief:We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral airWhere blind skyscrapers useTheir full height to proclaimThe strength of Collective Man,Each language pours its vain...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...ound eyes
Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons
Standing thin legged like elderly nuns
small bodied hands to their mouths in prayer
Five months small food since they settled there

on one floor mat with small empty pot
Father lifts up his hands at their lot
Tears come to their mother's eye
Pain makes mother Maya cry

Two children together in palmroof shade
Stare at me no word is said
Rice ration, lentils one time a week
Milk powde...Read More

by Hardy, Thomas
...
And ere the vanished pair of boys 
 Were sent to sun her cot. 

She numbered near on sixty years, 
 And passed as elderly, 
When, in the street, with flush of fears, 
 On day discovered she, 
From shine of swords and thump of drum, 
Her early loves from war had come, 
 The King's Own Cavalry. 

She turned aside, and bowed her head 
 Anigh Saint Peter's door; 
"Alas for chastened thoughts!" she said; 
 "I'm faded now, and hoar, 
And yet those notes--they thrill me th...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...a resonant "Biff!" 

Then a cheer burst aloud from my throat, 
For the thing that my spirit did vex 
Was naught but an elderly goat -- 
Just a goat of the masculine sex. 

When his master was killed he had fled, 
And now, by the dingoes bereft, 
The nannies were all of them dead, 
And only the billy was left. 

So we had him brought in on a stage 
To the house where, in style, he can strut, 
And he lives to a fragrant old age 
As the Ghost of the Murderer's Hut....Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ather at sixty- five:
And Willy, my eldest born, at nigh threescore and ten;
I knew them all as babies, and now they're elderly men. 

XXIII.
For mine is a time of peace, it is not often I grieve;
I am oftener sitting at home in my father's farm at eve:
And the neighbors come and laugh and gossip, and so do I;
I find myself often laughing at things that have long gone by. 

XXIV.
To be sure the preacher says, our sins should make us sad:
But mine is a time of ...Read More

by Bishop, Elizabeth
...ots show,
illuminated, solemn.
A dog gives one bark.

A woman climbs in 
with two market bags,
brisk, freckled, elderly.
"A grand night. Yes, sir,
all the way to Boston."
She regards us amicably.

Moonlight as we enter 
the New Brunswick woods,
hairy, scratchy, splintery;
moonlight and mist
caught in them like lamb's wool
on bushes in a pasture.

The passengers lie back.
Snores. Some long sighs.
A dreamy divagation
begins in the night,
...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...llagher!" 

The animal, freed from all restraint 
Lowered his head, made a kind of feint, 
And charged straight at that elderly saint. 
So fierce his attack and so very severe, it 
Quite floored the Rabbi, who, ere he could fly, 
Was rammed on the -- no, not the back -- but just near it. 
The scapegoat he snorted, and wildly cavorted, 
A light-hearted antelope "out on the ramp", 
Then stopped, looked around, got the "lay of the ground", 
And made a beeline back again ...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
...ious imperfections of odor.
Here is the formal male group:
The young men look upon their seniors,
They consider the elderly mind
And observe its inexplicable correlations.

Said Tsin-Tsu:
It is only in small dogs and the young
That we find minute observation...Read More

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