Goethe and old age by Clive La Pensée     Feb 2016.

I visited Goethe's House in Weimar and found another of his super pertinent quotes.


Goethe wrote, ‘Ich bin zu alt um nur zu spielen,

und zu jung um ohne Wunsch zu sein'.

I have taken that as the first two lines of my poem,

but replaced Wunsch (wish) with desire.

What Goethe Meant

I am too old to only play,

Too young to be without desire.

Too old to tumble in the hay

Too young to quench my residual fire.


Too old to miss my midday nap,

Too young to never think of straying,

Too old for hormones to cause a flap,

Too young to stop my eye surveying.


Too old to pass an empty trap,

Too young to stop believing,

Too old to play with ball or bat,

Too young to trickle when relieving.


Too old to worry what comes next,

Too young to admit my leaving,

Too old to bother to get vexed,

Too young to start my grieving.


Too old to think we can live forever,

Too young to concede this cannot last,

Too old to want some new endeavour,

Too young to wallow in the past.


Old enough to know those amazing years

Are in life’s bank, secure and undeniable,

Young enough to stillsup life’s beers,

And ignore the years more friable.

This poem was originally published by New London Writers.

Click here to read.


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