Celebrating age in verse
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Southampton's Anna Chaplains have helped celebrate both the United Nations' International Day of Older Persons and National Poetry Day. The charity Caraway gathered more than 40 older members of the community for a celebratory service of worship, creative prayers, poetry and a short talk.
Each guest received a gift bag, with pipe cleaners for using as part of the prayers, ribbons to wave at key points in the worship, copies of all poems, readings... and of course chocolate!
Local poet the Revd David Corfe contributed one of his own compositions:
So this is ageing;
to wake from eight hour's sleep and still feel tired
or tire in a hundred yards,
we're now incapable of speed,
to slow down and rest;
to begin forgetting names
and… what was it?
New pleasures though are ours -
to lie abandoned in the grass
and watch buds bursting round us,
or through a spread of branches
to contemplate the shimmering sky;
to sit in a sheltered garden,
enjoy the fragrances
and watch the birds.
It is to wonder at the world's miracle,
and not too late sometimes
for the gift and flourishing of love.
The time has come to understand,
discover who we are,
no longer to pretend or be ashamed,
allow the hurts and urges once suppressed
to surface and find healing.
A time for family,
and friendships long neglected,
or to make new ones.
So we wait with confidence
the call to rest in the Lover's arms,
and trust in the full-blooded glory
of the Resurrection.
Here is Janet reading Jenny Joseph's poem' Warning', which famously begins: ‘When I grow old, I shall wear purple...'
Caraway is a Christian charity that aims to promote the spiritual well-being of the older person and celebrates the wisdom and richness of old age.