Billy Collins’ main gig is writing poems. He’s won just about every award the poetry world gives out. But he likes to make up words, too. Like incredementia ~ the inability to believe how old you’ve become.
It’s almost time to toss the 2013 calendar. That means another birthday is around the corner. Billy Collins’ wisdom shines through his words. His latest poetry collection is Aimless Love.
One bright morning in a restaurant in Chicago
as I waited for my eggs and toast,
I opened the Tribune only to discover
that I was the same age as Cheerios.
Indeed, I was a few months older than Cheerios
for today, the newspaper announced,
was the 70th birthday of Cheerio
whereas mine had occurred earlier in the year.
Already, I could hear them whispering
behind my stooped and threadbare back,
Why that dude’s older than Cheerios
The way they used to say
Why that’s as old as the hills,
Only, the hills are much older than Cheerios
or any American breakfast cereal,
and more noble and enduring are the hills,
I surmised as a bar of sunlight illuminated my orange juice.
“To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living,” wrote the Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic Henri-Frédéric Amiel in 1874.
We baby boomers are learning just how hard that great art of living can be. 10,000 of us turn 65 each day. And even though we can’t find our keys, we look mahvelous.
Listen to the interview with another charming Billy ~
Read an excerpt from Still Foolin’ ‘Em, Crystal’s memoir about turning 65~
Hear a clip from the audiobook~
Too many people try to ignore their birthdays. Why pretend it didn’t happen? Every day I’m here, I’m grateful to be on the other side of the dirt.