Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Birthday to me -- a little late

I kept it low key this year.  I'm 67 now.  I feel ambivalent about the number.  But I find my life rather unrecognizable after this tumultuous year, and I feel like I've lost some continuity somewhere.  I've made the usual lists and resolutions and am moving with positivity and hope toward 2015.  But also with some wistfulness.  Would things be different if I had an anchor?  A rock?  A shoulder?

“When You Are Old"

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.”
W.B. Yeats


troutbirder said...

Mmmm. I knew a woman like that once who wore a "plaid dress." Forgetful though I am these days perhaps it was Emily Dickenson...:)

Bekkieann said...

Google found for me Edna St. Vincent Milay:

The Plaid Dress

Strong sun, that bleach
The curtains of my room, can you not render
Colourless this dress I wear?—
This violent plaid
Of purple angers and red shames; the yellow stripe
Of thin but valid treacheries; the flashy green of kind deeds done
Through indolence high judgments given here in haste;
The recurring checker of the serious breach of taste?

No more uncoloured than unmade,
I fear, can be this garment that I may not doff;
Confession does not strip it off,
To send me homeward eased and bare;

All through the formal, unoffending evening, under the clean
Bright hair,
Lining the subtle gown. . .it is not seen,
But it is there.

Bekkieann said...

I think Milay's regrets are of a different nature, though.

troutbirder said...

Oops. Dumb me. It's been a bad month for me on details....:(

Bekkieann said...

Hey, I'm impressed you remembered the poem and was in the ball park for the poet. I needed Google.