Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday's Poetry: "Let Me Die a Youngman's Death"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

One afternoon last week while taking a break from typing and playing footman to the farm's poultry, I heard an amazingly insightful poem emanate from the television machine.  The show was one of the later episodes of the British detective drama, Inspector George Gently, and the poem was recited from memory by a young boy who was speaking at the funeral of a friend - an adult with mental issues who had instilled a love of poetry in the boy.

The poem that the boy recited was "Let Me Die a Youngman's Death" by Liverpool poet and performance artist Roger McGough.  In the piece McGough argues his case stepping smartly off of the mortal coil rather than just quietly slipping away.   I was taken with the message and felt it offered something to aspire to - even for an old codger like me.

I hope that it resonates with you as well.  Be of good tumor.

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death
by Roger McGough

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

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