John Masefield

(1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967 / Herefordshire / England)

On Growing Old



The text of this poem could not be published because of Copyright laws.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Friday, May 25, 2012
Heinemann  

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John Masefield's Other Poems

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  • Cargoes
  • A Ballad of John Silver
  • A Creed
  • Beauty
  • A Wanderer's Song
  • The West Wind

Read poems about / on: beauty, fire, passion, april, dog, flower, music, summer, spring, beautiful, power, rose, rain, world, night, remember

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Comments about this poem (On Growing Old by John Masefield )

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  • Hans Vr (8/13/2011 7:59:00 PM)

    The three spelling errors did not at all prohibit me to enjoy the poem thoroughly. It is a wonderful piece of poetry, extremely well written and very rich in meaning.

    PS to Juan and Adeline: if the spelling is so much on your nerve, just copy it and paste it in word, correct the spelling and go on and fully enjoy the poem. :) Always look at the bright side of life :) (Report) Reply

  • Ravi A (8/13/2009 11:29:00 PM)

    A thoughtful poem and a positive finish. The poem really rings in the mind. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (8/13/2009 4:41:00 PM)

    Put aside the misspellings and your devotion to SPELLCHECK, please, and tell us how someone's error in scanning the poem on the computer 'detracts from the TRUE meaning of the poem'? What do you think the true meaning is, as opposed to a false meaning? Perhaps you were distracted from concentrating, is that it? (Report) Reply

  • Adeline Foster (8/13/2009 2:08:00 PM)

    It is wonderful that someone likes these dead masters enough to put their poems on this site. But whoever it is that is typing up these poems, have you not heard of spellcheck? How demeaning to find such a lovely set of sonnets with misspelled words. It detracts from the true meaning of the poem.
    Adeline Foster (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (8/13/2009 11:23:00 AM)

    A matched pair of sonnets 'On Growing Old' make a meditative and serene comment in mellifluous and melancholy tones suited to the subject. The speaker directs an apostrophe to the personification of an abstract ideal - 'Beauty' which stays long after the vigor of youth has waned. Time flies and takes its toll way too soon, 'The beauty of fire' (vivid youth) is extinguished by 'the beauty of embers' (the ashes of age in an apt metaphor) !

    When the passion for life is eroded by the stresses of jostling among the crowds that swarm the streets of London (or New York or wherever!) as time marches on, one is relegated to the role of bystander. Give me wisdom and passion, dimnished though it may be, and I'll settle for these which sustain the soul in times of loss. The poet has translated the 'beauty of fire' into the embers that come to life and blaze and blossom like the fiery red rose in the encroaching night of death! (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (8/13/2009 5:40:00 AM)

    A great majestic poem, its form reflecting the slow but wisdom-filled pace of ageing. But I doubt the last line 'Even the night will blossom as the rose.' (Report) Reply

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