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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

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:

Celebrating Age

So this is ageing;

to wake from eight hour's sleep and still feel tired

or tire in a hundred yards,

reluctantly admit

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.

David Corfe

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.



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