To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.
Donald Hall's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Affirmation by Donald Hall )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Algernon Charles Swinburne
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- An Almost Made Up Poem, Charles Bukowski
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- I Knew a Woman, Theodore Roethke
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
Poem of the Day
- Life Stretching, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Electric Love, Suresh Dogra
- Capturing An Awareness, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Letting Imagination Run, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- A river, Leong Ming Loong
- The End of the Road, Sandra Feldman
- Silent Conversation, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Serenity Is Placed, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Shards Of Emotion, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- WHAT IF CHRIST WAS NOT, Michael P. Johnson