78 Poems about Aging to Be Thankful for Every Year We’re Alive

As we journey through the tapestry of life, aging is an inevitable and often profound experience.

It is a subject that has captivated poets and thinkers for centuries.

The words of Maya Angelou, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry,” resonate deeply when we consider the poems about aging.

These poems about growing old form a rich tapestry, reflecting the various facets of growing older.
Join us on a journey through the best, famous, funny, short, and long poems about aging.

We’ll also explore rhyming aging poetry and those poems that celebrate aging with grace.

Best Poems about Aging

Among the vast array of poems about aging, some stand out as true gems. These best poems capture the essence of growing older, offering profound reflections and gratitude for the wisdom that comes with age.

1. Sundown

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The summer sun is sinking low;
Only the tree-tops redden and glow:
Only the weathercock on the spire
Of the neighboring church is a flame of fire;
All is in shadow below.
O beautiful, awful summer day,
What hast thou given, what taken away?
Life and death, and love and hate,
Homes made happy or desolate,
Hearts made sad or gay!
On the road of life one mile-stone more!
In the book of life one leaf turned o’er!
Like a red seal is the setting sun
On the good and the evil men have done,—
Naught can to-day restore!

2. The Last Leaf

       by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
With his cane.
They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.
But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
“They are gone!”
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.
My grandmamma has said—
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago—
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;
But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.
I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!
And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

3. The Old Man Dreams

       by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Oh for one hour of youthful joy!
Give back my twentieth spring!
I’d rather laugh, a bright-haired boy,
Than reign, a gray-beard king.
Off with the spoils of wrinkled age!
Away with Learning’s crown!
Tear out life’s Wisdom-written page,
And dash its trophies down!
One moment let my life-blood stream
From boyhood’s fount of flame!
Give me one giddy, reeling dream
Of life all love and fame!
. . . . .

My listening angel heard the prayer,
And, calmly smiling, said,
“If I but touch thy silvered hair
Thy hasty wish hath sped.
“But is there nothing in thy track,
To bid thee fondly stay,
While the swift seasons hurry back
To find the wished-for day?”
“Ah, truest soul of womankind!
Without thee what were life?
One bliss I cannot leave behind:
I’ll take— my— precious— wife!”
The angel took a sapphire pen
And wrote in rainbow dew,
The man would be a boy again,
And be a husband too!
“And is there nothing yet unsaid,
Before the change appears?
Remember, all their gifts have fled
With those dissolving years.”
“Why, yes;” for memory would recall
My fond paternal joys;
“I could not bear to leave them all—
I’ll take— my— girl— and— boys.”
The smiling angel dropped his pen,–
“Why, this will never do;
The man would be a boy again,
And be a father too!”
. . . . .

And so I laughed,— my laughter woke
The household with its noise,—
And wrote my dream, when morning broke,
To please the gray-haired boys.

4. The One White Hair

       by Walter Savage Landor

The wisest of the wise
Listen to pretty lies
And love to hear’em told.
Doubt not that Solomon
Listened to many a one,—
Some in his youth, and more when he grew old.
I never was among
The choir of Wisdom’s song,
But pretty lies loved I
As much as any king,
When youth was on the wing,
And (must it then be told?) when youth had quite gone by.
Alas! and I have not
The pleasant hour forgot
When one pert lady said,
“O Walter! I am quite
Bewildered with affright!
I see (sit quiet now) a white hair on your head!”
Another more benign
Snipped it away from mine,
And in her own dark hair
Pretended it was found…
She leaped, and twirled it round…
Fair as she was, she never was so fair!

5. It Is not Always May

       by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

No hay pajaros en los nidos de antano.
– Spanish Proverb
The sun is bright,—the air is clear,
The darting swallows soar and sing.
And from the stately elms I hear
The bluebird prophesying Spring.
So blue yon winding river flows,
It seems an outlet from the sky,
Where waiting till the west-wind blows,
The freighted clouds at anchor lie.
All things are new;—the buds, the leaves,
That gild the elm-tree’s nodding crest,
And even the nest beneath the eaves;—
There are no birds in last year’s nest!
All things rejoice in youth and love,
The fulness of their first delight!
And learn from the soft heavens above
The melting tenderness of night.
Maiden, that read’st this simple rhyme,
Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay;
Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime,
For oh, it is not always May!
Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year’s nest!

6. Why Do We Grow Old?

       by David Kendall

Why do we grow to adulthood
Then continue to age after that?
What’s with this keep on aging stuff
Until we’re old and?

Do you see what this aging does?
My hair is thinning and gray,
My brush has more hair than I do
What more can I possibly?

Not only is my hair now thin
But also my skin as well,
Everytime I bump myself
I bruise and bleed like

My teeth are still strong and white
As they sit in a glass near my bed,
Each morning I have to put them in
Before you understand what I

Hearing aids help me hear very well
But at night I take them out,
So if you say something to me
I won’t hear what you are talking

I take pills to ease the nerve pain
Because my hips hurt at night,
And then I take muscle relaxants
So my legs don’t feel so

I paid for lasik surgery
To better be able to see,
My vision was two hundred
So twenty-twenty is now great for

I have several canes I use
To help me better stand,
They help me keep my balance
So, now I’m a three legged

So, why do we continue to age?
What does this mean for us?
We finally reach that ripe old age
Where we don’t drive, we take the

So growing old is a pain for sure
As our body doesn’t work very well,
We rely upon artificial parts
To see, hear, walk and talk; pray

I hope you like this little ditty
With the last word missing of each,
For you to figure out, you see
And the correct word to

7. Aging

       by Randall Jarrell

I wake, but before I know it it is done,
The day, I sleep … And of days like these the years,
A life are made. I nod, consenting to my life.
-But who can live in these quick-passing hours?
I need to find again, to make a life,
A child’s Sunday afternoon, the Pleasure Drive
Where everything went by but time-the Study Hour
Spent at a desk with folded hands, in waiting.
In those I could make. Did I not make in them
Myself? the Grown One whose time shortens,
Breath quickens, heart beats faster, till at last
It catches, skips? Yet those hours that seemed, were endless
Were still not long enough to have remade
My childish heart: the heart that must have, always,
To make anything of anything, not time, Not time but
but, alas! eternity.

8. The Old Sailor

       by Margaret E. Sangster

I’ve crossed the bar at last, mates,
My longest voyage is done;
And I can sit here, peaceful,
And watch th’ setting sun
A-smilin’ kind of glad like
Upon the waves so free.
My longest voyage is done, mates,
But oh, the heart of me,
Is out where sea meets skyline!
My longest voyage is done….
But—can I sit, in peace, mates,
And watch the settin’ sun?
For what’s a peaceful life, mates,
When every breeze so free,
When every gale a-blowin’,
Brings messages to me?
And is the sky so shinin’,
For all it’s golden sun,
To one who loves the sea, mates,
And knows his voyage is done?
And, can a year on land, mates,
Match with one day—at sea?
Ah, every wind a-singin’
Brings memory to me!
I’ve crossed the bar at last, mates,
My longest voyage is past,
And I must watch the sunset,
Must see it fade, at last.
My steps are not so light, mates,
As they were, years ago;
And sometimes, when I’m tired,
My head droops kind of low—
Yet, though I’m old and—weary,
The waves that dance so free,
Keep callin’ to my soul, mates,
And thrill the heart of me!

9. At The Aging Point

       by Cindy Rendon Acaso-Cagatan

When they were young and able
With good job and income was stable
They provide and help them all
Because alone in life,they gave full.

Everybody in the family was given an opportunity
All relatives who asked help had received equally
Thinking that when they get old,they can ask help someday
That’s the concept of being single without an immediate family.

Time had passed by,everybody had their own family
The helpful ones were becoming old and lack of energy
Their resources were under scarcity
Now is the time to ask help from the members of the family.

No one did ever look back to extend their hands
Even a single slice of bread to feed a hungry old man and woman
No one remembered them to keep a shelter upon
They were forgotten by all nobody remembered even one.

The long high way was their abode
Asking alms was their livelihood
They all met their as sisterhood and brotherhood
Flocking together as one family in the road.

This won’t happen to this less fortunate
If someone from the family,to them had helped
As their pay back to the goodness in their aging point
Remembering them while they were still alive.

They were suckers of human blood
They were parasites to the abled buds
They treated better if the can still get some advantage
Throwing them in their aging point.

Let’s all help them!

10. Back in The Day

       by Joyce Goodman

Back in the day, when my body was fit,
I ate what I liked and gained not a bit.
After a while, the pounds slowly grew,
But I lost them fast; it was easy to do.
I didn’t worry, I didn’t care.
I didn’t need diets back in the day.

Back in the day, my summers were great.
Nothing to fear in the park.
The thing that I feared was Mom’s warning to me.
“You better be home before dark.”

Back in the day, my eyesight was good.
I never wore glasses; I saw like I should.
Now print seems so tiny and signs are unclear.
My vision is hopeless unless things are near.
I’m sorry to add that my memory is poor; it’s starting to scare me – no lie!
I go into a room for a reason I’m sure; then I am wondering why.

Back in the day, I felt safe and secure.
No shooters to scare us in school.
Now it is frightening; there’s no place to hide.
And the problem is going to spread wide.

Back in the day, I had strength to spare.
No pains in my body, no aches anywhere.
I never rested from day until night.
Now I need naps to help me feel right.
My walking is slow, and my back is in pain.
It’s hard to look cool when you walk with a cane.

I can’t believe I’m not young anymore.
I am feeling the passage of time.
So I looked for an answer for what I should do,
And here is the answer that’s mine.

If you want to stay young and keep up with the times,
Try new things you might like to do.
No need to hurry. Who cares if you’re slow?
Just keep your mind open and the ideas will flow.

Now when I think of “back in the day,”
I don’t want to go back anymore.
I keep myself busy doing things that I like,
And I’m finding my happiness grow.

11. Gift of Life

       by Tami Harmel

No one knows the gift of life
until it’s seen in another’s eyes.
What’s he thinking I ask myself,
from this disease that he was dealt
He meets me at the door each day
with a great big smile upon his face.
The boss is in there he say’s to me
and leads the way for me to see.
After breakfast our day starts
with his favorite thing, doing art.
With brush in handle swirls and spins,
up, down and back again.
One line here a circle there, different
colors everywhere.
Oh, that’s beautiful he says to me,
can we hang it with the others
for all to see
Everything happens for a reason, they say
and maybe for him it was meant that way
All the riches all the gold,
could not compare what this man holds.
So what’s he thinking, I ask myself
from this disease that he was dealt.
Just remember no one knows,
what today may bring or tomorrow holds
No, we don’t know that gift of life
until we’ve looked in that man’s eyes

Famous Poems about Aging

Famous poems about aging have resonated through generations, capturing the universal truths of this life stage. These verses are a testament to the enduring power of poetry to reflect on the beauty and challenges of growing old.

1. Resignation

       by St. George Tucker

Days of my youth,
Ye have glided away;
Hairs of my youth,
Ye are frosted and gray;
Eyes of my youth,
Your keen sight is no more;
Cheeks of my youth,
Ye are furrowed all o’er;
Strength of my youth,
All your vigor is gone;
Thoughts of my youth,
Your gay visions are flown.
Days of my youth,
I wish not your recall;
Hairs of my youth,
I’m content ye should fall;
Eyes of my youth,
You much evil have seen;
Cheeks of my youth,
Bathed in tears have you been;
Thoughts of my youth,
You have led me astray;
Strength of my youth,
Why lament your decay?
Days of my age,
Ye will shortly be past;
Pains of my age,
Yet awhile can ye last;
Joys of my age,
In true wisdom delight;
Eyes of my age,
Be religion your light;
Thoughts of my age,
Dread ye not the cold sod;
Hopes of my age,
Be ye fixed on your God.

2. Autumn

       by Ed Blair

Turning to gold are the leaves,
Autumn, sad Autumn is here,
Over the scene my heart grieves,
For we have lost summer’s cheer.
Rustling and eddying down,
Filling the hollows below,
Leaves that gave summer renown
Now to their wintry beds go.
Sad and alone now, I tread
Paths that in June were deep bowers,
Looking in vain for the red
And the pink of the beautiful flowers,
List’ning in vain for the song
Of the thrush and the dear whip-poor-will.
Flown is the joyous gay throng,
Flown, and the woodlands are still.
Over the river so still
The eddying gusts slowly stray,
Once summer’s breath—now a chill
Comes with their passing today,
And though the sun’s rays now kiss
The beds of the flowers so dear,
Summer, sweet summer we miss,
Autumn, sad Autumn is here.
So is the Autumn of life;
Flowers are dead that once bloomed,
Hopes in our hearts that were rife,
Now by the years are entombed.
And o’er the pathway of years,
Guided by memory’s tread,
We wander again in our tears,
‘Tis Autumn—Sweet Summer is dead.

3. Oft in the Stilly Night

       by Thomas Moore

Oft in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me:
The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
When I remember all
The friends so linked together
I’ve seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

4. Growing Old

       by Matthew Arnold

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The luster of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
—Yes, but not this alone.
Is it to feel our strength—
Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more loosely strung?
Yes, this, and more; but not
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dreamed ’twould be!
’Tis not to have our life
Mellowed and softened as with sunset glow,
A golden day’s decline.
’Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fullness of the past,
The years that are no more.
It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young;
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.
It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel.
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion—none.
It is—last stage of all—
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

5. Ballade of Middle Age

       by Andrew Lang

Our youth began with tears and sighs,
With seeking what we could not find;
Our verses all were threnodies,
In elegiacs still we whined;
Our ears were deaf, our eyes were blind,
We sought and knew not what we sought.
We marvel, now we look behind:
Life’s more amusing than we thought!
Oh, foolish youth, untimely wise!
Oh, phantoms of the sickly mind!
What? not content with seas and skies,
With rainy clouds and southern wind,
With common cares and faces kind,
With pains and joys each morning brought?
Ah, old, and worn, and tired we find
Life’s more amusing than we thought!
Though youth “turns spectre-thin and dies,”
To mourn for youth we’re not inclined;
We set our souls on salmon flies,
We whistle where we once repined.
Confound the woes of human-kind!
By Heaven we’re “well deceived,” I wot;
Who hum, contented or resigned,
“Life’s more amusing than we thought”!

O nate mecum, worn and lined
Our faces show, but that is naught;
Our hearts are young ‘neath wrinkled rind:
Life’s more amusing than we thought!

6. Equinoctial

       by Adeline D. T. Whitney

The sun of life has crossed the line;
The summer-shine of lengthened light
Faded and failed, till, where I stand,
‘Tis equal day and equal night.
One after one, as dwindling hours,
Youth’s glowing hopes have dropped away,
And soon may barely leave the gleam
That coldly scores a winter’s day.
I am not young; I am not old;
The flush of morn, the sunset calm,
Paling and deepening, each to each,
Meet midway with a solemn charm.
One side I see the summer fields,
Not yet disrobed of all their green;
While westerly, along the hills,
Flame the first tints of frosty sheen.
Ah, middle-point, where cloud and storm
Make battle-ground of this my life!
Where, even-matched, the night and day
Wage round me their September strife!
I bow me to the threatening gale:
I know when that is overpast,
Among the peaceful harvest days,
An Indian Summer comes at last!

7. Loss of Friends

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oh, where are the friends of my youth,
Of my manhood, ah, where are they gone?
Down, down to the silent tomb,
And I am left here to mourn.
How one after one they departed,
Till parents, brothers, sisters, were gone,
Connections the nearest and dearest,
While I am left here to mourn.
Besides those, how many loved names,
From the circle of my friends have been torn,—
The companions of life’s social way,
Whose loss I am left to mourn.
How oft have I followed them along,
Or helped bear them on to that bourne,
Where I must make one of their number soon,
And then I shall cease to mourn.

8. A Golden Love

       by Curtis Raynard

Every time I wrap my arms around you
It brings me back to the very first day
As you were the most beautiful view
Who completely took my breath away

Still to this day you still look the same
Though age has crept up on us both
And in my heart I still carry the flame
That keeps burning with loves growth

All these years you’ve been by my side
With unconditional love for each other
And forever, nothing will change inside
As it’s you and I always aging together

Even when our bodies lose all control
And we’re no longer able to carry on
Still we will remain the kindred souls
Filled with what can’t be withdrawn

Love created a bond between us two
And nothing will ever break us apart
For keeping you warm is all I shall do
As we radiate the fire within our heart

Sitting on this park bench together
I will forever remain young with you
With the reflection of one another
That has painted loves golden view

9. Discipline

       by Meryl Gordon

I am old and I have had
more than my share of good and bad.

I’ve had love and sorrow, seen sudden death
and been left alone and of love bereft.

I thought I would never love again
and I thought my life was grief and pain.

The edge between life and death was thin,
but then I discovered discipline.

I learned to smile when I felt sad,
I learned to take the good and the bad,
I learned to care a great deal more
for the world about me than before.

I began to forget the “Me” and “I”
and joined in life as it rolled by:
this may not mean sheer ecstasy
but is better by far than “I” and “Me.”

10. Just Another Year

       by John P. Read

The years are taking their toll.
Another birthday has now arrived.
People you meet say you’re still looking young.
With a smile, you wink and say, “Nice try.”

You have a few more aches and pains.
In fact, a different one each day.
Your eyesight’s none too clever,
And your hearing has started to fade.

Your memory has gone on vacation,
Although you no longer travel too far.
You try to avoid meeting old friends
Because nowadays you forget who they are.

Wrinkles are appearing like magic.
Your hair is silver and grey.
When you wake, you praise the Lord
Just to have survived for another day.

Yes, birthdays used to be special.
When you’re old, they’re not as much fun.
You no longer want to rejoice and party.
Your mind’s still willing, but your body has gone.

Funny Poems about Aging

A touch of humor makes the journey of aging a bit lighter. Funny poems about aging offer a lighthearted perspective on the passage of time, reminding us that laughter is one of the best ways to navigate the years.

1. Snap, Crackle, Pop

       by Catherine Pulsifer

I feel like snap, crackle, pop
I wish my age would just stop

I bend down and my knees do snap
Makes me feel like my legs will flap
Then my arthritis makes me crackle
I wonder what next I can tackle
And if I turn too fast I hear “pop”
My neck makes this noise like an old mop.

But let me tell you it’s okay
A snap, a crackle, a pop, lets me know I am not decay
There is still some life in these old bones
I won’t waste it with complaints and groans
And I am not going to shrivel up and die
If someone asks my age I will just lie!

2. Old

       by Catherine Pulsifer

I’m too young to be this old
It is like catching a cold
It happens before you know
The years fly by and then you’re old.

But life is to be live each day
Never stop learning
Keep busy
Find a laugh
And life will be the best.

3. Keep Young at Heart

       by Strickland Gillilan

But young at heart – God keep us that! Let care be laughed to scorn.
Let’s keep our backs to eventide and always face the morn.
Let’s keep the ripeness of our noon to guide the girls and boys
Whose youth is callower than ours and lacking deeper joys.

The snow of age may dust our hair, it cannot reach within.
We’ll teach those careworn youths of ours to bear their griefs and grin –
Go to the one whose empty life has palled on him and say:
“A wiser youth has come to me while you were turning gray.”

4. Looking Back

       by Deacon Green

If I were a boy again, — ah, me! —
How very, very good I’d be!
I would not sulk, I would not cry,
I’d scorn to coax for cake or pie.
I would not cause Mamma distress,
I’d never hate to wash and dress.
I’d rather learn a task than play,
And ne’er from school I’d run away.
I’d any time my jack-knife lend,
And share my toys with every friend.
I’d gladly go to bed at six,
And never be “as cross as sticks.”
I’d run with joy to take a pill,
And mustard wear whenever ill.
I’d never wish to skate or swim,
But wisely think of dangers grim.
And, oh, I’d never, just for fun,
Beg to go hunting with a gun!
At every naughty thing I did —
For mischief might be somewhere hid —
I’d drop at once upon my knees,
And say, “Dear Teacher, flog me, please.”

It’s easy to be good, you see,
When looking back from sixty-three.

5. Golden Years

       by Catherine Pulsifer

They call them the golden years
Well if that is the case why don’t more cheer?
Age is the one thing people fret about
Some even sit and pout!

There are many things we can control
But tell me who sets a goal
To see time passing and get old?
It seems to all start at the 50 threshold.

They say your memory starts to go
You forget things you use to know
You see a person, but forget their name
On your age, you do blame!

You talk about the good old days
Whenever someone visits and stays.
And when the TV is on
You close your eyes and yawn.

Golden years look forward they will come
You think never, I am young.
But before you know it you will find
Your younger years will be left behind.

6. Aging is Fun

       by Julie Hebert

Aging fun
Growing old is,
Lots of fun,
Allow me to share,
The obvious pun.

Of course this fun,
Is not the truth,
Is aging all that,
Fun to you?

Baldness, greying,
Wrinkles, and more.
Is not my idea of
Aging galore.

But maybe things will be different for you.
Do not let the stress of age
Make you blue
Live life, be engaged!

7. Seven Ages of Wheels

       by Anonymous

A wicker carriage we provide
In which the baby first may ride.

With kilts, a yellow cart arrives,
A doubtful billy-goat he drives.

In knickerbockers, down the pike,
He circuses upon his bike.

The age of love and gasoline
Demands a sixty-horse machine.

The years advance; he rides afar
In his palatial private car.

Old, feeble, if the day be fair,
His valet wheels him in the chair.

Then one last trip he takes on wheels
His head no higher than his heels.

8. I Did Dread

       by Catherine Pulsifer

You are now a senior they said
Oh great, that I did dread!
What is good about aging I ask
Everything seems like such a task.

A senior that means I will have gray hair
Maybe I’ll dye it purple for some flare.
And wrinkles that appear out of the blue
Where they came from I haven’t a clue.

It seems I walk a little slower
And things seem more difficult to jump over
And never before did I need glasses to see
And my bladder keeps wanting me to pee.

I sit back and wonder about the years
That have flown by and just disappeared
And then I realized no sense in being down
I might as well be the senior clown.

I may not be able to do everything
But to others a smile I can bring
So a senior I may be
My goal is to make others happy!

9. The Age

       by Catherine Pulsifer

30 is the age that they say you’re old
but you are still young and pretty bold.

Then comes 40 and you may feel
You’ve been given a rotten deal.

But wait, 50 appears out of the blue
And that age may be a bit of an issue

And before you know it 60 arrives
And you’re thankful you have survived

And some of us see 70 years
People stop and call us dear.

The big 80 surprises you
You can’t do what you use to.

And if 90 you do see
To stay awake drink more coffee

100 is the age that is amazing still
To get around takes some skill.

Forget about the age you are
Set your goals and you’ll go far.

Yes with age you may have to adjust a bit
But it doesn’t mean you have to sit and knit!!

10. Growing Old

       by Pamela J. Langdon

They said I was an “old fart”
But I hardly think that’s true
My boobs were done in ’75
But my teeth and knees are new.

And since my eyes were lasered
I have 20/20 sight
Though I like to sit on 50 k
And hate to drive at night.

All in all I object to “old”
But “fart” is another matter
For I think the valves that seal the gas
Now leak as I’ve got fatter.

To add to the indignity
And make me feel antique
Sometimes when I sneeze or cough
I spring a little leak.

So if you’re feeling young and smug
With a body like brand new
Just remember in 30 years
This figure may be you!

Short Poems about Aging

Sometimes, a few lines can encapsulate profound emotions. Short poems about aging distill the essence of growing old into concise and impactful verses. Join us in exploring these poetic gems.

1. A Cheerless Dawn

       by Anonymous

Prone in the prison of a lonely night,
At last the darkness quivers to my sight;
The Sheriff Sun has come to give release,
And far before him throws a crawling light.
Ah, were it not the Sheriff pacing slow,
Grimly to offer me the lesser woe
Of barren toil, and back to jail at night,—
But Mother, as in days of long ago!
In heaven, O God! I want no joy but this;
Once more to have the child’s unconscious bliss,
The perfect sleep unvexed by any pain,
And Mother to awake me with a kiss.

2. Leavetaking

       by William Watson

Pass, thou wild light,
Wild light on peaks that so
Grieve to let go
The day.
Lovely thy tarrying, lovely too is night:
Pass thou away.
Pass, thou wild heart,
Wild heart of youth that still
Hast half a will
To stay.
I grow too old a comrade, let us part:
Pass thou away.

3. Memories

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oft I remember those whom I have known
In other days, to whom my heart was led
As by a magnet, and who are not dead,
But absent, and their memories overgrown
With other thoughts and troubles of my own,
As graves with grasses are, and at their head
The stone with moss and lichens so o’erspread,
Nothing is legible but the name alone.
And is it so with them? After long years,
Do they remember me in the same way,
And is the memory pleasant as to me?
I fear to ask; yet wherefore are my fears?
Pleasures, like flowers, may wither and decay,
And yet the root perennial may be.

4. That Time of Year

       by William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

5. To Critics

       by Walter Learned

When I was seventeen I heard
From each censorious tongue,
“I’d not do that if I were you;
You see you’re rather young.”
Now that I number forty years,
I’m quite as often told
Of this or that I shouldn’t do
Because I’m quite too old.
O carping world! If there’s an age
Where youth and manhood keep
An equal poise, alas! I must
Have passed it in my sleep.

6. But One

       by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The year has but one June, dear friend,
The year has but one June;
And when that perfect month doth end,
The robin’s song, though loud, though long,
Seems never quite in tune.
The rose, though still its blushing face
By bee and bird is seen,
May yet have lost that subtle grace—
That nameless spell the winds know well—
Which makes its gardens queen.
Life’s perfect June, love’s red, red rose,
Have burned and bloomed for me.
Though still youth’s summer sunlight glows;
Though thou art kind, dear friend, I find
I have no heart for thee.

7. Petals

       by Amos Russel Wells

The shattered rose has fallen to the floor
In shelly loveliness. The carpet’s green
Forms a new turf, and in that lower scene
Each petal blossoms as a flower once more.
How light it lies as having wings to soar,
A curve of pink! And how its gentle mien,
The soft, rich fulness of its tender sheen,
Surpass the clustered rose we knew before!
Oh, not in labor’s summer-bloom of pride
Does life its crowning loveliness disclose.
Sweeter the lights in autumn days that hide,
And tender age a morning beauty shows.
Scatter life’s broken petals far and wide:
Each is a newer and a lovelier rose.

8. December Days

       by Caleb Prentiss

Ruthless winter’s rude career
Comes to close the parting year;
Fleecy flakes of snow descend,
Boreal winds the welkin rend.
Reflect, oh man! and well remember
That dull old age is dark December;
For soon the year of life is gone,
When hoary hairs like snow come on.

9. The Willow

       by Georgia Douglas Johnson

When life is young, without a care,
Alone we walk, and free:
The world, a splendid merry round
Of rhythmic melody.
Before the end, grim sorrow calls
Into each mortal ear,
When friendship fades to memories,
And love lies in its bier.
Then, then it is that sympathy
Is holden close and dear;
Ah, then life’s consolation comes
Commingled with a tear.

10. The Little Boy and The Old Man

       by Shel Silverstein

Said the little boy, ‘Sometimes I drop my spoon.’
Said the old man, ‘I do that too.’
The little boy whispered, ‘I wet my pants.’
‘I do that too,’ laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, ‘I often cry.’
The old man nodded, ‘So do I.’
‘But worst of all,’ said the boy, ‘it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.’
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
‘I know what you mean,’ said the little old man.

Long Poems about Aging

For those who relish a deep dive into the complexities of aging, long poems offer an expansive canvas. These verses paint detailed portraits of the aging experience, allowing readers to explore its nuances.

1. Middle Age

       by Rudolph Chambers Lehmann

When that my days were fewer,
Some twenty years ago,
And all that is was newer,
And time itself seemed slow,
With ardor all impassioned,
I let my hopes fly free,
And deemed the world was fashioned
My playing-field to be.
The cup of joy was filled then
With Fancy’s sparkling wine;
And all the things I willed then
Seemed destined to be mine.
Friends had I then in plenty,
And every friend was true;
Friends always are at twenty,
And on to twenty-two.
The men whose hair was sprinkled
With little flecks of gray,
Whose faded brows were wrinkled—
Sure they had had their day.
And though we bore no malice,
We knew their hearts were cold,
For they had drained their chalice,
And now were spent and old.
At thirty, we admitted,
A man may be alive,
But slower, feebler witted;
And done at thirty-five.
If Fate prolongs his earth-days,
His joys grow fewer still;
And after five more birthdays
He totters down the hill.
We were the true immortals
Who held the earth in fee;
For us were flung the portals
Of fame and victory.
The days were bright and breezy,
And gay our banners flew,
And every peak was easy
To scale at twenty-two.
And thus we spent our gay time
As having much to spend;
Swift, swift, that pretty playtime
Flew by and had its end.
And lo! without a warning
I woke, as others do,
One fine mid-winter morning,
A man of forty-two.
And now I see how vainly
Is youth with ardor fired;
How fondly, how insanely
I formerly aspired.
A boy may still detest age,
But as for me I know,
A man has reached his best age
At forty-two or so.
For youth it is the season
Of restlessness and strife;
Of passion and unreason,
And ignorance of life.
Since, though his cheeks have roses,
No boy can understand
That everything he knows is
A graft at second hand.
But we have toiled and wandered
With weary feet and numb;
Have doubted, sifted, pondered,—
How else should knowledge come?
Have seen too late for heeding,
Our hopes go out in tears,
Lost in the dim receding,
Irrevocable years.
Yet, though with busy fingers
No more we wreathe the flowers,
An airy perfume lingers,
A brightness still is ours.
And though no rose our cheeks have,
The sky still shines as blue;
And still the distant peaks have
The glow of twenty-two.

2. The Iron Gage

       by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Where is this patriarch you are kindly greeting?
Not unfamiliar to my ear his name,
Nor yet unknown to many a joyous meeting
In days long vanished,— is he still the same,
Or changed by years, forgotten and forgetting,
Dull-eared, dim-sighted, slow of speech and thought,
Still o’er the sad, degenerate present fretting,
Where all goes wrong, and nothing as it ought?
Old age, the graybeard! Well, indeed, I know him,—
Shrunk, tottering, bent, of aches and ills the prey;
In sermon, story, fable, picture, poem,
Oft have I met him from my earliest day:
In my old Aesop, toiling with his bundle,—
His load of sticks,— politely asking Death,
Who comes when called for,— would he lug or trundle
His fagot for him?— he was scant of breath.
And sad “Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher,”—
Has he not stamped tbe image on my soul,
In that last chapter, where the worn-out Teacher
Sighs o’er the loosened cord, the broken bowl?
Yes, long, indeed, I’ve known him at a distance,
And now my lifted door-latch shows him here;
I take his shrivelled hand without resistance,
And find him smiling as his step draws near.
What though of gilded baubles he bereaves us,
Dear to the heart of youth, to manhood’s prime;
Think of the calm he brings, the wealth he leaves us,
The hoarded spoils, the legacies of time!
Altars once flaming, still with incense fragrant,
Passion’s uneasy nurslings rocked asleep,
Hope’s anchor faster, wild desire less vagrant,
Life’s flow less noisy, but the stream how deep!
Still as the silver cord gets worn and slender,
Its lightened task-work tugs with lessening strain,
Hands get more helpful, voices, grown more tender,
Soothe with their softened tones the slumberous brain.
Youth longs and manhood strives, but age remembers,
Sits by the raked-up ashes of the past,
Spreads its thin hands above the whitening embers
That warm its creeping life-blood till the last.
Dear to its heart is every loving token
That comes unbidden era its pulse grows cold,
Ere the last lingering ties of life are broken,
Its labors ended and its story told.
Ah, while around us rosy youth rejoices,
For us the sorrow-laden breezes sigh,
And through the chorus of its jocund voices
Throbs the sharp note of misery’s hopeless cry.
As on the gauzy wings of fancy flying
From some far orb I track our watery sphere,
Home of the struggling, suffering, doubting, dying,
The silvered globule seems a glistening tear.
But Nature lends her mirror of illusion
To win from saddening scenes our age-dimmed eyes,
And misty day-dreams blend in sweet confusion
The wintry landscape and the summer skies.
So when the iron portal shuts behind us,
And life forgets us in its noise and whirl,
Visions that shunned the glaring noonday find us,
And glimmering starlight shows the gates of pearl.
I come not here your morning hour to sadden,
A limping pilgrim, leaning on his staff,—
I, who have never deemed it sin to gladden
This vale of sorrows with a wholesome laugh.
If word of mine another’s gloom has brightened,
Through my dumb lips the heaven-sent message came;
If hand of mine another’s task has lightened,
It felt the guidance that it dares not claim.
But, O my gentle sisters, O my brothers,
These thick-sown snow-flakes hint of toil’s release;
These feebler pulses bid me leave to others
The tasks once welcome; evening asks for peace.
Time claims his tribute; silence now golden;
Let me not vex the too long suffering lyre;
Though to your love untiring still beholden,
The curfew tells me— cover up the fire.
And now with grateful smile and accents cheerful,
And warmer heart than look or word can tell,
In simplest phrase— these traitorous eyes are tearful—
Thanks, Brothers, Sisters,— Children,— and farewell!

3. An Old Man’s Dreams

       by Eliza M. Sherman

It was the twilight hour;
Behind the western hill the sun had sunk,
Leaving the evening sky aglow with crimson light.
The air is filled with fragrance and with sound;
High in the tops of shadowy vine-wreathed trees,
Grave parent-birds were twittering good-night songs,
To still their restless brood.
Across the way
A noisy little brook made pleasant
Music on the summer air,
And farther on, the sweet, faint sound
Of Whippoorwill Falls rose on the air, and fell
Like some sweet chant at vespers.
The air is heavy
With the scent of mignonette and rose,
And from the beds of flowers the tall
White lilies point like angel fingers upward,
Casting on the air an incense sweet,
That brings to mind the old, old story
Of the alabaster box that loving Mary
Broke upon the Master’s feet.
Upon his vine-wreathed porch
An old white-headed man sits dreaming
Happy, happy dreams of days that are no more;
And listening to the quaint old song
With which his daughter lulled her child to rest:
“Abide with me,” she says;
“Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens,—
Lord, with me abide.”
And as he listens to the sounds that fill the
Summer air, sweet, dreamy thoughts
Of his “lost youth” come crowding thickly up;
And, for a while, he seems a boy again.
With feet all bare
He wades the rippling brook, and with a boyish shout
Gathers the violets blue, and nodding ferns,
That wave a welcome from the other side.
With those he wreathes
The sunny head of little Nell, a neighbor’s child,
Companion of his sorrows and his joys.
Sweet, dainty Nell, whose baby life
Seemed early linked with his,
And whom he loved with all a boy’s devotion.
Long years have flown.
No longer boy and girl, but man and woman grown,
They stand again beside the brook, that murmurs
Ever in its course, nor stays for time nor man,
And tell the old, old story,
And promise to be true till life for them shall end.
Again the years roll on,
And they are old. The frost of age
Has touched the once-brown hair,
And left it white as are the chaliced lilies.
Children, whose rosy lips once claimed
A father’s blessing and a mother’s love,
Have grown to man’s estate, save two
Whom God called early home to wait
For them in heaven.
And then the old man thinks
How on a night like this, when faint
And sweet as half-remembered dreams
Old Whippoorwill Falls did murmur soft
Its evening psalms, when fragrant lilies
Pointed up the way her Christ had gone,
God called the wife and mother home,
And bade him wait.
Oh! why is it so hard for
Man to wait? to sit with folded hands,
Apart, amid the busy throng,
And hear the buzz and hum of toil around;
To see men reap and bind the golden sheaves
Of earthly fruits, while he looks idly on,
And knows he may not join,
But only wait till God has said, “Enough!”
And calls him home!
And thus the old man dreams,
And then awakes; awakes to hear
The sweet old song just dying
On the pulsing evening air:
“When other helpers fail,
And comforts flee,
Lord of the helpless,
Oh, abide with me!”

4. Keepsake

       by Mac Mckenzie

One day my dad was hunting, from his favorite hunting stand;
‘Twas a giant Oak with perfect limbs, under which two deer trails ran.
Now this favorite spot of Daddy’s was as unique as it could be,
’cause a lightning bolt had burned a giant hole down through that tree.

As he double checked his deer tags, as he did quite frequently,
he accidently dropped his wallet down the hole in that old tree.
Well, his family hunted from that tree ever since they’d been around,
And there was no way on God’s green earth he’d ever cut it down.

That Oak tree was my “learning stool” as dad was teaching me,
and most of what I learned ’bout deer was right there in that tree.
And I finally took my own first buck, right there from that old stand;
with Daddy sitting next to me to calm my nervous hands.

“I’ve taught you everything I know,” Dad proudly said to me;
“Someday we’ll bring my grandson here, and teach him in this tree”.
Well, I laughed and poked him on the arm; hell, I was just a kid,
But Daddy made me feel real good, somehow he always did.

Well, we shared some twenty seasons, and we watched some good bucks grow,
But unlike that mighty old Oak tree, on my dad those seasons showed.
Soon he’d grown too old to really hunt, still he’d sit with me in that stand,
and it was my turn to hold and steady the shaking in Daddy’s hands.

Then he died at the end of that season, ten years too soon to see
The grandson that he’d dreamed about get to hunt from that old tree.
And now it’s opening morning, on my son’s first whitetail hunt;
I’m sitting beside him in “Grandpa’s Tree” ’cause we both knew that’s what he would want.

Now I’d seen this scene from both sides of that limb, and it happened exactly the same;
we heard one coming, I steadied his hands, and here that old buck came.
He handled it just perfect; his Grandpa would’ve been proud,
I shook his hand and wiped a tear and looked up at the clouds.

Then we hung his deer right from our stand, and I took a Polaroid shot;
And I wanted so badly for Daddy to see the buck that his grandson got.
Then as I watched that picture develop in my hands,
I felt a breeze and heard a gentle rustling near that stand.

Then a little stronger gust of wind whipped the picture from my hand
and carried it briskly into that tree, above the old deer stand.

Well, my son said he’d go get it, but I told him “never mind.”
We’d take a few more later, but let’s leave that one behind.
‘Cause he could’ve looked forever, but I knew where it would be,
Tucked safely in Dad’s wallet, down the hole in that old tree.

5. On Age

       by Benjamin Hine

What has decrepid age to fear from death,
Or hope from life, should Heaven prolong our breath?
Nothing on either hand; death ends that pain
Which living age shall hope to shun in vain.
The longer we journey on in life’s lone way,
The sharper our sufferings grow from day to day,
Our youthful spirits dry, and joys all fled,
Tedious and tiresome is the path we tread;
Nor hope remains from aught the earth can give;
Age lives by halves, or only seems to live.
Not so with youth,— a thousand charms invite,
Their sprightly steps, their fondest loves unite;
The world’s before them, hope is on their side;
Their bark sails with, and not against the tide.
Just the reverse with age; life’s ebbing tide.
Nor briskly flows along, nor smoothly glides,
But loitering slowly through the obstructed veins,
Each limb, each nerve, must feel a thousand pains,
Diseases lurk through all the shattered frame,
And aches untold, the muse could never name,
Are daily felt, nor hope from earth remains;—
The grave’s the only refuge from our pains.
Thence then this dread of death, even in age,
When life’s exhausted to its latest page,
And nothing but its baleful dregs are left,
Of every comfort, every joy bereft?
Oh, death, thou king of terrors, how we dread
Thy cold embrace, thy gloomy courts to tread,
Where darkness broods, and night perpetual reigns;
How nature shudders at thy icy chains?
And why? because frail nature sees no light,
Beyond the tomb no end to death’s dark night.
Here reason fails farther her way to trace,—
Dread annihilation stares us in the face.
And is there then no hope, no cheering ray,
No promised rescue from death’s wretched sway;
No light before the soul, no lurid dawn,
No sweet, no blissful resurrection morn.
Yes, there is light, a ray shot down from Heaven
To cheer the soul by God in mercy given.
Religion bursts the gloom, and points the way,
To an hereafter, an eternal day.
Come then, blest Power come with thy healing art,
Pour all thy balm to soothe the aged heart;
Bring comfort with thee, and salvation bring,
From sin, and draw from death his torturing sting.

6. Youth and Age

       by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee—
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!

When I was young?—Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change ‘twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:—
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in’t together.

Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth’s no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
‘Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
I’ll think it but a fond conceit—
It cannot be that Thou art gone!

Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll’d:—
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe, that thou are gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.

Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life’s a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
When we are old:
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstay’d his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.

7. Old Age

       by Brian A. Bendall

Arthritis makes my fingers swell.
My bathroom visits really smell.
When I find it hard to sleep,
I remember math, to count my sheep.

My legs aren’t working like they did,
Like when I was just a kid.
It takes time to climb the stairs,
To change my dirty underwears.

And in the cellar, it’s not clear,
“Why did I just adventure here?”
Retrace my steps and I will find,
I still don’t know… so back I climb.

Friends now treat me differently.
They’ll talk to me like I am three.
And kinfolk give a hug and say,
“Baby, do you feel okay?”

In diapers I am now attired.
I’ll never know when they’re required.
So, best I wear them all the time,
They’ll save me from my inner grime!

And just in case that some don’t know,
You wear them underneath your clothes.
I tried it once the other way!
The laughter, I still hear today!

Grocery shopping is a treat,
If I can just stay on my feet.
Just get it done! Get home fast,
And hope my tired legs will last!

I get back home and rest my legs,
But I forgot to buy some eggs!
“To hell with it! I’ll do without!
I’m not about to go back out!”

Sometimes a pain I’ve never had,
The kind that’s there, but not that bad.
It could be serious, I suspect,
So, to the doctor! Get it checked!

He’ll poke and prod in all my holes.
He’ll close examine warts and moles.
He’ll press my gut when I’m undressed.
He’ll listen to my heart and chest!

When that’s done, he’s bound to find,
Some “specialists” he has in mind.
He’ll send me “here”, he’ll send me “there”,
He’ll send me everywhere, I swear!

They’ll take some blood and take some pee,
They’ll analyze the lot and see,
“There’s nothing wrong, now you can go.”
I start to feel… they just don’t know.

I get back home from my ordeal,
And now it’s hunger that I feel.
What do I want? What is my treat?
It should be something soft to eat.

So, after checking my caboodle,
I pick a tin of chicken noodle.
Some soda crackers on the side,
My dinner now has been supplied.

(Hey! Don’t forget to turn the stove off!)

Now full from all that soup fillet,
I check the mail that came today.
I’m scared when I see any bill!
So scared, I have to take a pill!

Gee! My old age check was sent!
“Wow! I’ll make the mortgage rent!”
Now I have been thrown a bone,
So I can keep my cherished home.

I try to sleep while counting sheep,
But other thoughts begin to creep.
“Am I too old to be alone?
I want keep this home I own!”

Kinfolk have their resolution!
A nursing home is their solution!
“They’ll care and feed you every day!
They’ll have a room where you can stay!”

I know they love me, there’s no doubt,
But my problems, they can do without.
A burden, I don’t want to be,
Can’t they see what “home” means to me?

I can’t give up this house of mine!
I’m by myself, that suits me fine!
And when I’m left alone that day,
I’ll think of what they had to say.

But I want to live my life my way!
I don’t want another home to stay!
And if no other resolution,
I will find my own solution…

8. Reflecting on Life

       by Ji.Kan

Growing up is tough,
Growing up is hard.
Do you remember taking off your diaper in the front yard?
Fairytales read
To boys and girls alike.
Do you remember the first time you rode a trike?
Lying in bed
Trying to count sheep.
Remember, Santa knows when you are asleep!
During that time,
When everything sounded cool,
Remember when you played sick to skip school?
Growing up is difficult.
There’s no need to rush.
Do you still remember your first crush?
High school is full of great things”
Making friends, grades, and going to celebrations.
It’s all good memories after your high school graduation.
College is tough,
But you made it through.
Even making it out with the degree you’re all about.
Time to go to work.
Even if you’re the boss of the company,
Remember, at one time, you were once an employee.
Now growing even older feels tough.
More often than not, you still feel a bit rough
From working so hard, but with determination
You guaranteed your name through a new generation.
And they shall carry on your legacy,
As you have taught them: “Hard work will move you forward in this society.”
The children have grown,
And you watch the grandchildren,
Letting them know, “That’s enough television.”
Console them as they cry
And teach them something new.
Even in old age, the teacher is still you.
Looking at the family you helped create,
You can’t help but feel a little great.
The children hold your hand,
And you smile hard,
Because somehow, you remembered taking off your diaper in the front yard.

9. I Still Matter

       by Pat A. Fleming

My looks are nothing special,
My face reveals my age,
My body shows some wear and tear,
And my energy’s not the same.

Too often my memory fails me,
And I lose things all the time.
One minute I know what I plan to do,
And the next it may just slip my mind.

I try hard to avoid my mirror.
There are things I would rather not see,
And even those times when I just catch a glimpse,
I can no longer recognize me.

The things I used to do with ease
Can now cause aches and pains,
And the quality of the things I do
Will never be quite the same.

I always compare my older self
To those younger versions of me,
And I know I’m wasting too much time
Missing who I used to be.

But the thing that really makes me sad
Is despite what people see,
Underneath my tattered, worn out shell,
I’m still the same old me.

My heart can still feel endless love,
And at times it still can ache.
My heart can fill with so much joy,
And then it can suddenly break.

My soul can still feel sympathy
And longs for forgiveness and peace,
And there are times its light shines boldly through,
And times when it longs for release.

It’s true, maybe now that I’m older,
Feeling lonely may be status quo,
But it also has made me more willing
To forgive and let past conflicts go.

So maybe to some I look ugly and old,
A person who barely exists.
I’m still quite aware of the beauty inside,
And my value should not be dismissed.

So although not as strong and no beauty, it’s true,
I’m still here and want so much to live,
And I know that there’s no one in this world quite like me,
And no one who has more to give.

Poems about Aging That Rhyme

The musicality of rhyming verses adds a unique charm to poems about aging. These verses resonate with the soul, celebrating not only the years gone by but also the years yet to come, all with the grace of rhyme.

1. Youth and Age

       by Thomas Stanley

When I see the young men play,
Young methinks I am as they;
And my aged thoughts laid by,
To the dance with joy I fly:
Come, a flowery chaplet lend me;
Youth and mirthful thoughts attend me:
Age be gone, we’ll dance among
Those that young are, and be young:
Bring some wine, boy, fill about;
You shall see the old man’s stout;
Who can laugh and tipple too,
And be mad as well as you.

2. Burglar Time

       by Amos Russel Wells

Time’s a burglar. On his toes
Noiselessly the rascal goes;
Steals my hair, and in its place
Drops long wrinkles on my face;
Steals my vigor, and instead
With experience crams my head;
Steals the trustfulness of youth,
Changing it for bitter truth;
Steals my friends by slow degrees,
Leaving only memories;
Steals my hope, my daring bold,
Leaving nought but yellow gold,
Making these exchanges, he
Deems it is no robbery;
Yes, and truly; for his stealth
Of my dear departed wealth
Yet has left the Joy of Life,
You, my daughter and my wife!

3. November

       by Samuel Longfellow

Summer is gone; but summer days return;
The winds and frosts have stripped the woodlands bare,
Save for some clinging foliage here and there;
Then as if, pitiful, her heart did yearn,
Nature, the loving mother, lifts her urn
And pours the stream of life to her spent child:
The desert air grows strangely soft and mild,
And in his veins the long-fled ardors burn.
So, when we pass the mid-years of our lives,
And, sad or glad, we feel our work nigh done,
There come to us with sudden, swift returns,
The glow, the thrill, which show that youth survives,
That—though through softening mists—still shines the sun;
And in our souls the Indian summer burns.

4. Moonlight

       by James W. Whilt

When the moon has climbed the heavens,
And the sun has gone to rest,
And the evening shadows gather,
That’s the time I love the best.
Seated by our little camp-fire,
In the forest dark and tall,
With the silence all around us,
Save the roar of water-fall—
Then the deer steal in the meadows,
Velvet shod, so still are they,
While among the waving grass-tops
Spotted fawns are there at play.
Then to me there comes a memory,
Of the days, now past and gone,
When my life was just in blossom,
I was young and life was dawn.
When I roamed the virgin forest,
Just as free as birds that fly,
With the moonbeams for a candle,
And my cover was the sky.
Still the moon shines just as brightly,
And the stars are just as clear,
But I see I’m growing older
Like the ending of the year.
Frost is gathering on my temple,
Soon my hair will be like snow,
But His will we all must follow
And some day we all must go.
Yet, I’m ever, ever hoping
That upon those shores of gold,
We will have the self-same moonlight
As we had in the days of old.

5. To Youth

       by Walter Savage Landor

Where art thou gone, light-ankled Youth?
With wing at either shoulder,
And smile that never left thy mouth
Until the Hours grew colder:
Then somewhat seemed to whisper near
That thou and I must part;
I doubted it; I felt no fear,
No weight upon the heart.
If aught befell it, Love was by
And rolled it off again;
So, if there ever was a sigh,
‘Twas not a sigh of pain.
I may not call thee back; but thou
Returnest when the hand
Of gentle Sleep waves o’er my brow
His poppy-crested wand;
Then smiling eyes bend over mine,
Then lips once pressed invite;
But sleep hath given a silent sign,
And both, alas! take flight.

6. 50, The Password

       by Anne Stevenson

Memory, intimate camera, inward eye,
Open your store, unlock your silicon
And let my name’s lost surfaces file by.
What password shall I type to turn you on?

Is this the girl who bicycled to school
A cello balanced on her handlebars?
Shy, but agog for love, she played the fool
And hid her poems in the dark of drawers.

First love of music bred a love of art,
Then art a love of actors and their plays,
Then actors love of acting out a part,
Until she’d try on anything for praise.

Siphoned to England, she embraced her dream,
With Mr Darcy camped in Hammersmith,
Bathed in a kitchen tub behind a screen,
Pretending love was true and life a myth.

Waking with a baby on her hip,
Yeats in her shopping basket, here she is,
Thin as a blade and angry as a whip,
Weighing her gift against her selfishness.

Three husbands later, here she is again,
Opposed to her own defiance, breaking rules.
Not mad, not micro-waved American,
She trips on sense, and falls between two stools,

Finding herself at sixty on the floor,
With childhood’s sober, under-table view
Of how in time love matters more and more.
Given a creeping deadline, what to do?

Look at the way her wild pretensions end.
One word, its vast forgiving coverage,
Validates all her efforts to defend
Every excuse she makes, and warms with age.

7. Oh! First Time Came

       by Charles Swain

Oh! first Time came in crimson shoes—
With little roses blue and yellow,
He came with playthings, to amuse,
And I was then a happy fellow:
In dancing soles he next skipped by,
With song and music, sweet and sprightly,
While Love’s eyes o’er Time’s shoulder nigh,
Smiled forth, like stars of heaven, nightly.
Again Time called in boots and spurs,
And rode as if his days were numbered;
The next in slippers, lined with furs,
In elbow-chair he sat and slumbered:
I heard the distant music play,
I thought of hours of love and dancing,
But Time grew slower, day by day,
As if with hearse and plume advancing.
Ah me! but once sweet Childhood comes,
But once bright Youth to love may guide us,
Time, year to year, like lightning sums,
And age and darkness stand beside us:
Ah well! old Time, life’s but a day—
With some few gleams our path adorning;
The night will come, whate’er we say—
It cannot always, Time, be morning.

8. To Heck with Tech

       by Alora M. Knight

A little old lady, I do not mind being.
What I find I don’t like are the changes I’m seeing.
My marbles are still rolling in the right direction.
I enjoy this old world, though it has imperfections.

I promise to stop driving if I start losing control,
But I still think that someone moved our telephone pole.
Now listen, my friends, you don’t have to shout.
That won’t help me know what you’re talking about.

The words that you say have a new meaning now.
I admit that I find they confuse me, somehow.
Websites were something we swished with the broom.
We wouldn’t have endured a mouse in the room.

You can take all your I-Pods and fancy cell phones.
Who wants to listen to all those ring tones?
A disc that was flopping would have created a fuss.
Mega-bytes and hard drives really sound ominous.

There’s one thing I do know; I don’t want to see
My world being reduced to a mere five-by-three.
I know that high-tech can do things that are fine.
Still, when getting touch, don’t call me online.

9. The Songs of Summer

       by Mathilde Blind

The songs of summer are over and past!
The swallow’s forsaken the dripping eaves;
Ruined and black ‘mid the sodden leaves
The nests are rudely swung in the blast:
And ever the wind like a soul in pain
Knocks and knocks at the window-pane.
The songs of summer are over and past!
Woe’s me for a music sweeter than theirs—
The quick, light bound of a step on the stairs,
The greeting of lovers too sweet to last:
And ever the wind like a soul in pain
Knocks and knocks at the window-pane.

10. When You Are Old

       by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Poems about Aging Gracefully

Aging gracefully is an art, and these poems are its canvas. They reflect the beauty of embracing age with dignity and a positive outlook. Join us in celebrating the wisdom and elegance that comes with growing old.

1. Coming to Terms

       by Line Monique Gauthier

I look at my old body
A little decrepit
But still functional
For that I’m ever so thankful

I look at my old body
The shape reminds me
Of my long gone grand-mother
Through the eyes of a kid
More to love was glorious
More kindness and better hugs
How I loved every rotund inch of her

I think of her and others gone before me
And realize I’ll meet up with them some day
And my heart swells in appreciation
As I continue to make the most
Of every one of my todays
I come to terms and
My old body looks just fine

2. Clearing The Way

       by Alora M. Knight

I have waited quite a long time to get old,
So I think I should try to enjoy it.
I can’t turn it in for a refund,
And I surely don’t want to destroy it.

They tell me that life is a one-way street,
As if I am too dumb to know.
I might as well keep moving on forward.
There’s not much choice where to go.

I would like to lighten the luggage
I’ve accumulated over the years.
I’d be smart to release all the memories
That brought about heartache and tears.

That would make living much better,
Free up space that then could be filled
With appreciation for the good things in life,
With the promise that then I could build

A future that lives for the moment,
With little concern for the past.
My time will be filled with contentment,
No matter how long it will last.

So now that I’m ready for the rest of the trip,
I foresee no problems ahead.
I’ll make each day be a worthwhile event,
With no regrets for the life I have led.

3. Growing Gray

       by Austin Dobson

“On a l’age de son caeur.” A. D’Houdetot

A little more toward the light;—
Me miserable! Here’s one that’s white;
And one that’s turning;
Adieu to song and “salad days;”
My Muse, let’s go at once to Jay’s,
And order mourning.
We must reform our rhymes, my Dear,—
Renounce the gay for the severe,—
Be grave, not witty;
We have, no more, the right to find
That Pyrrha’s hair is neatly twined,—
That Chloe’s pretty.
Young Love’s for us a farce that’s played;
Light canzonet and serenade
No more may tempt us;
Gray hairs but ill accord with dreams;
From aught but sour didactic themes
Our years exempt us.
Indeed! you really fancy so?
You think for one white streak we grow
At once satiric?
A fiddlestick! Each hair’s a string
To which our ancient Muse shall sing
A younger lyric.
The heart’s still sound. Shall “cakes and ale”
Grow rare to youth because we rail
At schoolboy dishes?
Perish the thought! ‘Tis ours to chant
When neither Time nor Tide can grant
Belief with wishes.

4. Proactive Aging

       by Victoria Terrana

Wrinkles will form on your face,
But you will age will the spirit of God’s grace.
Your age will be seen on your hands,
And it will represent the love that touched many lands.
May you work now,
So that if time will allow,
Your old self will represent,
How your time was spent,
And all the places that you went.
May your elder self be able to say,
“Love has always been a vital part of my day.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Your body may be weaker,
But your soul will love deeper.
Your body may turn to dust,
But your soul will not even rust.
Your soul will never die,
And love is the reason why.
It is time you attract the attractive,
And continue to be proactive.
You are more than appealing.
Your love is very revealing.
Who you are is shown in your every word and deed.
You continuously plant God’s holy seed.
What you find attractive is how people think,
Attraction and personality definitely link.
If you love God, your love is full and true.
And there nothing unattractive in what you do.
This is the type of attraction we must all pursue.
When you form wrinkles on your face,
Remember that influence you made on the human race,
Because of the way you lived in God’s grace.

5. The Old Lover

       by Thomas Stanley

Though my aged head be grey,
And thy youth more fresh than May,
Fly me not; oh! rather see
In this wreath how gracefully
Roses with pale lilies join:
Learn of them, so let us twine.

6. I look into My Glass

       by Thomas Hardy

I look into my glass,
And view my wasting skin,
And say, ‘Would God it came to pass
My heart had shrunk as thin!’

For then I, undistrest
By hearts grown cold to me,
Could lonely wait my endless rest
With equanimity.

But Time, to make me grieve,
Part steals, lets part abide;
And shakes this fragile frame at eve
With throbbings of noontide.

7. Ave Atque Vale

       by Rosamund Marriott Watson

Farewell my Youth! for now we needs must part,
For here the paths divide;
Here hand from hand must sever, heart from heart,—
Divergence deep and wide.
You’ll wear no withered roses for my sake,
Though I go mourning for you all day long,
Finding no magic more in bower or brake,
No melody in song.
Gray Eld must travel in my company
To seal this severance more fast and sure.
A joyless fellowship, i’ faith, ’twill be,
Yet must we fare together, I and he,
Till I shall tread the footpath way no more.
But when a blackbird pipes among the boughs,
On some dim, iridescent day in spring,
Then I may dream you are remembering
Our ancient vows.
Or when some joy foregone, some fate forsworn,
Looks through the dark eyes of the violet,
I may re-cross the set, forbidden bourne,
I may forget
Our long, long parting for a little while,
Dream of the golden splendors of your smile,
Dream you remember yet.

8. Contentment in Old Age

       by William Roger Paton

The women mock me for being old,
Bidding me look at the wreck of my years in the mirror.
But I, as I approach the end of my life,
Care not whether I have white hair or black,
And with sweet-scented ointments
And crowns of lovely flowers and wine
I make heavy care to cease.

9. Beautiful Old Age

       by D.H. Lawrence

It ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.

The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life
lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies
they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins
in their old age.

Soothing, old people should be, like apples
when one is tired of love.
Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft
stillness and satisfaction of autumn.

And a girl should say:
It must be wonderful to live and grow old.
Look at my mother, how rich and still she is! –

And a young man should think: By Jove
my father has faced all weathers, but it’s been a life!

Poems about Aging and Death

Aging and death are inextricably linked, and these poems bravely confront the finality of life. They explore the inevitability of death with a candid and contemplative perspective. Join us in navigating this profound subject through poetic expressions.

1. Remembering

       by Alora M. Knight

When sleepless I lie,
As the hours slip by,
I go walking the paths back home.
I hear the meadowlark’s song
As I amble along
In this fanciful way that I roam.

As my memories clutter,
A tractor’s soft mutter
Is providing new chocolate brown fields
For the ground to be seeded
When spring planting is needed.
A plan for which all nature yields.

A tinkling cowbell
Tells me all is now well
With the herd contentedly grazing.
Mother cows keep an eye,
While their newborns race by
With a speed that is simply amazing.

Thunderclouds overhead
Start to fill me with dread,
For I know that soon it will storm.
I cannot complain,
In fact, I love rain
As long as I’m in where it’s warm.

As my feet stir the dust
I know that I must
Leave my childhood memories behind.
Still, it’s a comfort to know
That wherever I go,
They will always be there in my mind.

2. Blue Hydrangeas

       by Gillian Clarke

You bring them in, a trug of thundercloud,
neglected in long grass and the sulk
of a wet summer. Now a weight of wet silk
in my arms like her blue dress, a load
of night-inks shaken from their hair –
her hair a flame, a shadow against light
as long ago she leaned to kiss goodnight
when downstairs was a bright elsewhere
like a lost bush of blue hydrangeas.
You found them, lovely, silky, dangerous,
their lapis lazulis, their indigoes
tide-marked and freckled with the rose
of death, beautiful in decline.
I touch my mother’s skin. Touch mine.

3. Something to Look Forward to

       by Carl Rubino

wandering aimlessly
mixed aromas drift
mostly empty food court
nondescript mall
somewhere, anywhere
empty-eyed stare
ill-fitting leisure suit
food stains
plodding, forward mostly
velcro-closured sneakers
wondering, intermittently,
where he left his dentures
sticking tentatively
to a corner of unshaven growth masquerading as a moustache.
he knows the bus will be there
something to look forward to – one more step, then another

4. One Thousand a Day

       by Carl Rubino

It’s going to go away by itself
Half a million will be gone by mid-winter
It’s not that bad…most everyone gets over it
We need more refrigerated trailers
I had it and I got over it in a few days
I just waived to Grandma on a ventilator through her hospital window
We need the new judge, so we can get rid of Obama Care
“Dear former employee: Your medical insurance grace period has expired.”
We’re turning the corner
“One thousand Americans died today”…one THOUSAND
It’s not much worse than the flu
We’re on the edge looking into the abyss, and half of us are blind
We’re just going to let it run free and then we’ll all be immune
Following the Ignorant Into Armageddon
I can’t hug anyone anymore, and I’m starting not to care
The fucking thing got me, and I’m not even sick
Wall Street is doing fine…

5. A Tired Old Man

       by Michael Grgich

Like a blind man walking water, an aging man walks the unknown.
A feeble man, and frightned, he must walk this road alone.

For years he felt it coming, he knew this day was stalking him
For years he knew that it was true, for years he did not sin

He heard soft voices sent from Heaven, voices heard by just his ear
Soft warm voices of comfort, that whispered “Do not fear”

Now this weary man lies trembling, afraid to close his eyes
Feeling elephants upon his chest, breath now just struggling sighs

His thought frenzied, fast and frantic, eyes held wide, they mustn’t close
Yet, His eyelids are so heavy, and the lust for sleep it grows

A soft white light of comfort, tells his eyes they mustn’t see
A voice the same as Heaven says, “Let your soul be free!”

His chronic pain is numbing now, eyelids so heavy they just fell
A chill of something Holy raced through his fragile dieing shell

Another whisper from the angels, finds his ears, an old man cries
As the warming voice of God commands “Please claim your wings and fly”

An old man oh so tired now, ends his fight to stay alive
An old man alone and empty see his life flash by his eyes

First he sees himself an infant, tears falling now as then they fell
Remembering his Mother’s love and feeling it as well

He sees his Mother’s warming smile, and gasps out “I LOVE YOU!”
He relives the whole of childhood, tears dropping completely through

He hears a familiar voice say “I Do”, remembers man and wife
Weakened for an instant, an old man struggles to save life

Proud and watching through happy tears, reliving his son born
But the visions changing fast and frantic, an old man’s heart is torn

Countless sights and dreams lashing out, melting together memories
Even thoughts lost long forgotten becoming part of what he sees…

A violent shock shot through his body, the sleep now to intense to fight
His mind and vision blackened, after a lifetime full of sight

Afraid but also curious, he stretches shakey hand twords light
A tired old man ready to sleep after reliving 80 years in just one night

He hits the light with frantic thunder, embracing sights that none have seen…
At last the riddle is clear… the end of life begins the dream

Upon his cloud he now sits proud, sporting his silkin wings
Watching his kin and guiding them through the all of everything

No more pain and no discomfort, he feels complete in heart and soul
Forever protected by the paradise and love of his new home

With a sigh, he stands and streatches, silkin wings spread set to fly
The old man had just discovered you live within dreams when you die… now he flies!

6. Do not Go Gentle into That Good Night

       by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

7. Long Life

       by Elaine Feinstein

Late Summer. Sunshine. The eucalyptus tree.
It is a fortune beyond any deserving
to be still here, with no more than everyday worries,
placidly arranging lines of poetry.

I consider a stick of cinammon
bound in raffia, finches
in the grass, and a stubby bush
which this year mothered a lemon.

These days I speak less of death
than the mysteries of survival. I am
no longer lonely, not yet frail, and
after surgery, recognise each breath

as a miracle. My generation may not be
nimble but, forgive us,
we’d like to hold on, stubbornly
content – even while ageing.

8. The Time of My Life

       by Alora M. Knight

I realize I’ve reached the time
When it’s very plain to see
That I now must be selective
In what my preferences will be.
No longer can I toss a coin
To see which direction I should go.
As far as speed in getting there,
Only one would fit, and that is SLOW.
It’s wise to have a goal each day,
There is no doubt about it.
A reason to rise each morning.
No one should be without it.
Still, if I decide to dilly-dally
Throughout the passing day,
A bit of procrastination
Is bound to come my way.
I can read with great delight
Great books that I’ve forgotten,
And if I chose, I now can read
The ones that were verboten.
I do not waste my energy
On things that can’t be changed.
If I spent time on past mistakes,
I soon would be deranged.
Life has much to offer
To each and everyone.
I hope to conquer many things
Before my time is done.
When I’ve fulfilled my challenges,
And hopefully passed each test,
Then I will wave a fond good goodbye,
Content I’ve done my best.

9. Winter’s Ghost’s Crisp Chill

       by Carl Rubino

And just like that, you were gone
Not the kind of gone that anyone ever gets to come back from
The kind of gone that’s gone for good
Back to dust, dust and vapor
You probably never saw it coming
Or, if you did, it was only for an instant
An instant before that terrible sound of shattering glass and bending metal
When all went dark
Moments earlier you were spinning on a roof top in London
“Sittin’ on top of the world”
Tripping your brains out.
Why did it have to be you my sweet friend
Why did it have to be you that did a run for whatever was missing…
We were to ride with the wind on two wheels to a castle in north Wales
To watch them crown a Prince
And you would have been my princess
Hanging on and laughing, hugging me from behind as we’d rumble through the night
No wind, no rain, no cold would stop us
It was to be our long awaited journey to a love that had been brewing under the surface for years
That never had a chance to run free
But that was not to be, my love
That was not to be
They would not open the casket at your service in Bethlehem
Your sister’s laugh poured down the stairs…She laughed just like you
No, she laughed exactly like you
I almost ran upstairs when I heard it
For an instant I thought you had returned
Returned as you came to visit me through curtains that rustled in my bedroom
Two nights after you left, though there was not the slightest breeze
I knew it was you…come to say goodbye…come to say goodbye
A loss so deep can be a cruel teacher
Do you learn not to love again?
At least not to love really
Not deeply
Not with meaning
Not the kind that takes your soul
Not the kind you’d give your life for
For when your sweet life was taken
Mine went along with it…
And winter’s ghost’s crisp chill still lingers
Springing forth from summer’s molten sun
To grasp my fleeing thoughts
In its icy fingered hand
Someday, someday, someday my love
I’ll find you again
And we’ll dance at heaven’s door
And turn our backs to the gates of hell

Final Thoughts

As we conclude our exploration of poems about aging, we invite you to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.

Aging, growing old, and the poetry that accompanies these stages of life are a testament to the richness of human existence.

Just as diversity makes for a rich tapestry, so do this aging poetry enriches our understanding of the human experience.

Whether you’ve found solace, laughter, wisdom, or inspiration in these poems about growing old, they remind us to be thankful for every year we’re alive.

Join the conversation and celebrate the richness of life’s later chapters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button