Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

On Aging - Poem by Maya Angelou

When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

Topic(s) of this poem: aging


Comments about On Aging by Maya Angelou

  • Tom Allport (12/20/2016 4:19:00 AM)

    tom allport
    who ever said you are only as young as you feel is wrong, we don't get old in our heads? (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (10/1/2016 1:36:00 AM)


    Beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/30/2015 1:16:00 PM)


    The aged still have pride- that young person who ran and jumped and danced and loved is still there- right behind their eyes so give them the respect of their years (Report) Reply

  • (11/14/2015 1:25:00 PM)


    beautifully etched personal dignity irrespective of age and condition
    .. all values and traits remaining kept!
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2015 9:09:00 AM)


    You have to be fortunate to reach old age. Well concluded: But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in. (Report) Reply

  • Manas Madrecha (6/18/2015 8:19:00 AM)


    The poetess has beautifully described the mettle of an elderly person who refuses to get overwhelmed by old-age... (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2015 9:28:00 AM)


    Even if one is aged his spirit of life is still there and his visions of world is also important. Here the great poetess briefly in the poem describes the aging situation and it felt as so great. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 14, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 14, 2015


[Report Error]