On Retirement: 75 Poems

Overview

In the decade ahead, more than 80 million Americans will reach the age of retirement and face what Robin Chapman and Judith Strasser call “the unnerving question, What next?” Indeed, according to the Social Security Administration, the number of Americans sixty-five or older will nearly double between 2000 and 2030. As more people approach retirement, they too will wonder what lies ahead.
    This superb collection includes poems by men and women ranging in age ...

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Overview

In the decade ahead, more than 80 million Americans will reach the age of retirement and face what Robin Chapman and Judith Strasser call “the unnerving question, What next?” Indeed, according to the Social Security Administration, the number of Americans sixty-five or older will nearly double between 2000 and 2030. As more people approach retirement, they too will wonder what lies ahead.
    This superb collection includes poems by men and women ranging in age from their fifties to their eighties and hailing from different cities, regions, and countries. The entire range of emotions and literary perspectives is represented here, whether the specter of death in Doug Anderson’s “Sixty One” or a sly grin in Roger Pfingston’s “Retired.”
    Each poet—whether retired or just contemplating retirement—greets the prospect of this new chapter of life differently. George Bilgere purchases the complete works of Verdi and extravagant silk shirts, while Denise Levertov contemplates life alone. Alicia Ostriker implores readers to “keep on fighting, keep up the good work,” and Alberto Ríos recalls a lost love. However we contemplate retirement, this volume will illuminate the careful thoughts of those who have faced these questions before us.
 
Contributors Include:
Werner Aspenstrom, Chana Bloch, Philip Booth, Hayden Carruth, Lucille Clifton, Ruth Daigon, Susan Elbe, Sam Hamill, Mark Irwin, klipschutz, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Richard Moore, Naomi Shihab Nye, Grace Paley, Robert Pinsky, Carol Potter, Ishmael Reed, Claudette Mork Sigg, Ronald Wallace

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587295270
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 140
  • Sales rank: 1,466,719
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Chapman is professor emerita of communicative disorders at the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of three books and five chapbooks of poetry, including The Way In and Images of a Complex World: The Art and Poetry of Chaos, both winners of the Posner Poetry Award. Judith Strasser retired in 1999 from her position as senior producer  and interviewer for To the Best of Our Knowledge, the nationally syndicated NPR program. Since her retirement, she has published a memoir, Black Eye: Escaping a Marriage, Writing a Life; a poetry collection, The Reason/Unreason Project, which won the Lewis-Clark Press Expedition Award; and a chapbook.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     ix
Sixty-One     1
Who Is Not a Child     2
Eliseo's Cabin, Taos Pueblo     3
Reaching Eighty     4
Bamboo     5
Unwise Purchases     6
The Sixth Age     8
Pairs     9
Wait-Time Is Currently about Twelve Minutes     11
[thinking of retirement]     12
Waking     13
Retirement Matters     14
At Seventy-Five: Rereading an Old Book     15
In the Pinecrest Rest Home     16
Some Little Happiness     17
The Inspector of Snowstorms     18
God and Goddess     19
Climbing     20
A Visitation     21
To the Woman Who Left Her Old Age to Someone Older than She Will Ever Be     23
Rest Cure     24
On His Early Retirement     25
Flu Clinic at the Retirement Center     27
The Carpenter's Song     28
Brooding over the Body     30
Heading towards Porty     32
No Clomping Straightforward Narrative: There Is an Abstraction in Aging Only Abstraction Can Relay     33
The Orchid Flower     34
Retirement     35
The Work Place     36
Last Minute Instructions     37
Mansion of Happiness     38
Assorted Hobbies     39
Hani and the Moon     40
Parents' Pantoum     42
Office     44
Applesauce     46
One by One     47
Women and Horses     48
Living Alone (III)     49
The Physicist's Warning     50
All Dressed Up     51
Almost Eighty     52
Bureaucrat Tells How     53
Old Guys     55
Walking Out     57
Father of the Bride     58
Deadwood     60
On Coming to Nothing     61
The Crossing     62
Marriage     63
Retirement     64
Open House     64
Anna Bachtle     66
Fifty     67
Here     69
After the Ultrasound     70
Drawing for Absolute Beginners     71
Retired     72
The Neurology Professor Retires     73
The Cold     74
Comfort Zone     76
Letter of Transmittal     77
The South Berkeley Branch Closes     78
Luke Like Life     80
The Conversation of Old Husbands     81
Report from the Stratosphere     82
Barre Exercises     83
You Reading This, Be Ready     84
This Was a Wonderful Night     85
Now I'm Retired, I Have Time     87
Wednesday, the Hole     88
Aunt Eudora's Harlequin Romance     89
A Three-Year-Old Visits     90
Blessings     91
Contributors     93
Acknowledgments     101
Index to Titles     107
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