Retirement Philosophy Poems

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Details | Free verse |
generic minds listen to generic music
have generic thoughts that are unknowingly abusive
watch generic things talk about generic things
gee this generic *****is spreading like a disease
better get your flu shot 
thats what they said to me
a suicidal vaccine 
a subliminal killing spree
its contagious and the outrageous
thing about it is that the people are blind in an eye
that they didn't even know they had
it's sickening to watch these clueless civilians 
inside the looking glass
with nightmares of being free
without a key to their mind
for it is trapped in the frequency
in the illusion of time
bathed in our universe
killing all that refuse to see
those that admit to hypocracy
or see the message in hip hop
how cant you see
the message in the lyrics that
bring adolescents to their knees
from bullet wounds conflicting their flesh
contradicting that they're the best
but the songs keep telling them that they dont need no rest
that they dont wanna go home
that they should ride alone
with the gat as their only companion
and so the only path they choose is the one that they're told
until they grow old and hope turns to a window pane
inside a window pane, until all they feel is pain
they realize that the music itself is ashamed
so whats to look up to
when you cant even speak when you cant even walk because you look so bleak
your eyes are sunken from the tv you're infested with the dee zees
now its too late to turn around and live for your conscious
so when youre screaming oh please
close your eyes and bring your mind to life
open your eyes for the first time
and never wonder why
since the answer this entire time
has been inside
and you better find it before you die
you dont want your soul to be in a pool with all the others
a buncha brothers missing their mothers
but only seeing strangers
only feeling the haters
wishing they would have used their minds when they had them
and now its too late,
now it's time for another new born fate to grab them

Copyright © Green Trees | Year Posted 2012




Details | Free verse |
He was always so happy
strong and bold.
He'd give you the shirt off of his back.
Tough.
Independent.
He had a rough life
growing up through the depression,
but like he always does,
he got through it.
He has two boys, of whom he is so proud.
Moved from Regina, to Victoria.
He had the best life anyone his age could have wanted.
But ever since his wife died, 
he has not been the same.
Sad
Lonely
Empty.
But like he has always done,
he got through it.
Mind slipping, 
just a little forgetful.
That's how it always starts out...
But like always, he powered through it, 
until now...
He is not the same person that I used to know.
He been sentenced to the prison in his own mind.
Possessed by the thoughts of his dogs ashes.
He likes to play the blame game,
but we know he doesn't remember that it was him.
He wakes up in the night
shaking with pain, 
tears streaming down his face.
There is nothing we can do,
Oh well...
Two more tylenol.
Hold on to hope
for as long as you can,
It's only a matter of time now.
He gets vocal, a very loud tone.
He'll block you in your room
and make false accusations
But we know that it's the pain induced monster in him.
Tick tock, tick tock...
You can't handle the stress anymore
you have to leave.
Just hope for the best, 
maybe it will get better.
Surprise, it doesn't.
Your denial is foolish, everyone knows 
what happens next.
Sedation
Medication
Anger
Hurt
All results of
dementia

Copyright © Laura Hamilton | Year Posted 2013

Details | Free verse |
Retiring, they ask me
What do you do now
For a living that is

I'm a Philosopher, I say
Social Security encouraged me
They say, is there money in it

I charge Forty Dollars an hour
I say, used to that is
Now I sell it by the pound

How can I get some, they say
Have a seat, I say
Best forty dollars you'll ever spend

Copyright © D. C. Jordan | Year Posted 2016




Details | Epigram |
Niithaar Perumai, the Fundamental Role of Ascetics, Canto 26 of the Thirukkural, the Tamil Classical Treatise on Ethics, Translation and Commentary by T. Wignesan 


[Given the scarcity of information (mostly conflicting even then) on the origins and times of the author of this classical Tamil literary masterpiece, I have selected the above decadal canto for treatent in order to ease some of the contention over the author’s weltanschaaung. The decade here also best illustrates some of his literary strengths and weaknesses, for not all his distiques stand up well to impartial scrutiny. His choice of elaborating on a topic through composing ten couplets a piece may perhaps have had other more elusive aims (on which I too have my own verifiable notions), but this canto should serve to illustrate both his ingenuity as well as his forte at spinning out an idea –at moments – simply, it would seem, for the sake of it. The question is why only ten maxims per topic? Why not twelve? Or even twenty?

Is the Judeo-Christian "ten commandments" a possible influence in the form and/or content? Christian Tamils would be the first to rally to this hypothesis, even if Europeans like Pope and Zvelebil would less grudgingly decline such an honour. In some cantos/chapters, one gets the feeling he is merely exercising his talents by approaching a topic from various angles without, in reality, having added fundamentally to the perceptions some few couplets had already convincingly contributed to the élaboration of the case. Only the overall picture is being served here, that is, the author like most of his counterparts in the South Asian continent has had the main religio-philosophic PURUSHA aims of ultimate spiritual development in life in view: aram (virtue), artha (wealth), kama(m) (pre-marital love, sexual and wedded co-habitation) and vidu or moksha (release from re-birth through renunciation), according to the purusha concept of the mainly Hindu aims and phases of development in life. Yet, even if a specifically entitled fourth book devoted to « moksha » is absent from the Thirukkural, there are many couplets which treat of the subject such as this section under discussion.

The poet, himself, has come to be described as an « eclectic » thinker, a label first mooted by G.U.Pope in the nineteenth century and echoed by others like Kamil Zvelebil and a host of others in the twentieth. The Jains claim him as their own, not without reason, but, on the same score, perhaps the Christians ought to delve deep into the Dead Sea Scrolls to see how the Buddha’s teachings seeped into their own.]

Canto 3 : « niithaar perumai » and a few translations to highlight the manner in which the poet Thiruvalluvar ensconced meaning in order to serve both literary and didactic
purposes.
 

K21: olukkatthu niithaar perumai viluppatthu
         veendum panuvar runivu 

The settled rule of every code requires, as highest good,
Their greatness who, renouncing all, true to their rule have stood. (Tr. G.U.Pope)

The end and aim of all treatise is to extol beyond all other excellence, the greatness of those who, while abiding in the rule of conduct peculiar to their state, have abandoned all desire. (Tr. W.H.Drew and J.Lazarus)

The true worth of moral works ought to be judged by whether their teaching directs one to renounce all forms of possession through inner detachment. (Tr. T. Wignesan)


K22: thuratthaar perumai thunaikkoorin vaiyatthu
          thiranthaarai yennikkon darru

As counting those that from the earth have passed away,
‘Tis vain attempt the might of holy men to say. (Tr. G.U.Pope)

To describe the measure of the greatness of those who have forsaken the two-fold desire, is like counting the dead. (Tr. W.H.Drew and J.Lazarus)

If one were to measure the greatness of those who have renounced the world, it would be tantamount to totalling up the number of deaths on earth. (Tr. T. Wignesan)

  
K23: irumai vakaitherinthu iinduaram poondaar
         perumai pirangkirru ulaku

Their greatness earth transcends, who, way of both worlds weighed,
In this world take their stand, in virtue's robe arrayed. (Tr. G.U.Pope)

The greatness of those who have discovered the properties of both states of being, and clothed themselves in virtue, shines forth in this world (beyond all others. (Tr. W.H.Drew & J.Lazarus)

The highest attainment resides (in pondering and) rejecting both birth and re-birth [samsara], the ultimate achievement open to man on earth. (Tr. T. Wignesan)

                                                                     (to be continued)
©  T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2017