A late picking—the old man sips his wine
And eyes his vineyard flourishing row on row.
Ripe clusters, hanging heavy on the vine,
Catch the sun’s afterglow.

He thinks: next vintage will not be too bad.
The spätlese at last, as I recall,
Has caught the grace I aimed at as a lad;
Yet ripeness is not all.

Young men still seek perfection of the type;
A grace that lies beyond, one learns in time.
The improbable ferment of the overripe
May touch on the sublime.

Old men should be adventurous. On the whole
I think that’s what old age is really for:
Tolstoy at Astapovo finds his soul;
Ulysses hefts his oar.

Rate this post
Previous articleIn Memoriam: Gertrud Kolmar, 1943
Next articleA Book of Answers I: Mr W.S. And Mr W.H.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here