growing old, haiku, humor, philosophy

Old Age is a Mixed Bag

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Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #61
a new feature for the weekend … introduction

calls for Japanese-style poetry inspired by an excerpt from Plato.  (An excerpt from the excerpt appears below.)  Yet again, classical literature says something complex and important, while leaving much for later generations to discover and say.  For now, I will shut up after 2 haiku.


“… the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life.”

“… when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many.”

“… for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”

“… I rather suspect that people … think that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter.”

Fond Memories
|Nostalgia for
|what never was (nor could have been):
|old man dreams of sex.
Still Standing
|Mellow curmudgeon
|shrugs off fate and stands proudly

8 thoughts on “Old Age is a Mixed Bag

    1. Consider the old remark that
              «Growing old sucks; the alternative is worse.»

      Bluebird of Bitterness has a good reply:
              «Growing old is wonderful.   Feeling old and looking old are what suck.»

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I just choose to old gracefully and with a sense of humor about it. I will not be a victim of growing old any more than I was a victim of infancy or childhood or adolescence or young adulthood or middle age. My core is who I am, not the trappings of an aging body — no matter how inconvenient or limiting they might be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the Sophocles’ quotes. Guess us humans always knew our time was limited, and that we grew wrinkley with time. Sometimes I’m taken aback by the aged face reflected back at me unexpectedly ! At home, there are a few mirrors, low lighting — I can be at ease with my unchanged inner self.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Had to giggle at the first one. It sounded so profound in the first two lines, and then, back to earth…I loved Sophocles’ idea of many “mad masters,” and found the way plato differentiates between the calmer temperament and the wilder one and how each reacts as they slip into old age very interesting. More joy, more pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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