Body Parts: A Collection Of Poems About Aging

From the time we are born, our bodies change. But as we age, the dramatic changes seem to take us by surprise. Our eyesight may dim, our hearing fade, our joints may ache, and our hair – oh, my gosh, where did it go?

I’ve noticed that as we experience these changes, people react differently to them. You may have experienced the person who can’t do anything but talk about their latest operation or how awful their arthritis makes them feel.

Janet Hoult is not one of those people. She is professor emeritus at California State Universitiy, Los Angeles. She’s now in her seventies and definitely not constantly gripping about her ailing body. She qualifies as someone who is joyfully retired.Β She took a look at all the changes to our Body Parts and wrote poetry. The best thing is that she made the poems humorous. Let me give you a few teasers:

What happened to this memory

That once I often flaunted?

Now when I go to get something

I forget what it was I wanted.

–from Memory Lapses

From Hair Today-Gone Tomorrow

I guess I need to age with grace

To understand that that’s my place

To lose some hair and grow some other

To look more and more like my brother.

My brother! Oh no! No please!

I’ll try the wax; I’ll even tweeze!

From Clouds In My Eyes

Is that a cloud before my eyes

Or are they growing dimmer,

Like water covering my face

When I was once a swimmer?

My favorite is a poem titled Knees with apologies to Joyce Kilmer. The first couple of lines go like this:

I think that I shall never see

A replacement lovely as a knee.

Anyone over a “certain age” will be able to identify with the author’s poems. I loved laughing along with the author. If you haven’t entered this certain age yet, you might consider this book for your parents or grandparents.

Thanks to the author for sending me this review copy. Body Parts: A Collection of Poems About Aging is available on Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

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12 Responses to Body Parts: A Collection Of Poems About Aging

  1. kaye says:

    I can relate to all her poems! Phew, getting old is not for the faint of heart. Sounds like a fun little book.

  2. Molly says:

    Her poems do indeed indicate that she is “joyfully retired.” Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Barbara says:

    I can deal with the gravity issue – I think it was Maya Angelou who said her breasts were racing to see which one could reach her waist first. πŸ™‚ Maybe I read it on a blog. Anyway, my only real gripe is my Andy Rooney eyebrows – when did that happen? My hairdresser can’t keep up with them with her clippers. “Oh Sheila, I just stopped in to get my eyebrows trimmed.” πŸ˜€

  4. This sounds funny but also depressing! :–)

  5. I can certainly relate to the poems you shared with us. Sounds like a fun book!

  6. cerrin says:

    I love those poems. If you cant laugh your doomed. lol

  7. Bumbles says:

    That last one totally cracked me up. The best way to age is with laughter. And lets face it, growing a day older is better than the alternative. My favorite poem about aging is Jenny Joseph’s called “Warning” – you’ve probably heard it before:

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
    With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
    I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
    And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
    And run my stick along the public railings
    And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
    I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
    And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
    And learn to spit.

    You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
    And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
    Or only bread and pickle for a week
    And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

    But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
    And pay our rent and not swear in the street
    And set a good example for the children.
    We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

    But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
    So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
    When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

  8. stacybuckeye says:

    I think my om would totally love this! And when the time comes she can loan it to me πŸ™‚

  9. How funny! I’m sure I never would have heard of this book without your post, so the author picked a great person to send a copy to! I’ll look for it (and of course, I’m there already … it is definitely for me!)

  10. cerrin says:

    lol None of my friends would be shocked by me wearing purple and red lol

  11. Beth F says:

    This sounds fun!

  12. kaye says:

    loved these πŸ™‚

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