When it comes to good birthday poems, it seems there have been a lot of them written from parent, to child. These don't suit the occasion at all, really.
There are also many poems that reference a specific age--15, 64, etc. These were a little too specific for my tastes.
There are also several birthday poems out there that are pretty good...but kind of dark. Yea, that won't do for me.
I did find this gem about birthdays by Stanley Kunitz, though. I like it a lot, but it might not make a good "gift:"
—on my seventy-ninth birthday
Nobody in the widow’s household
ever celebrated anniversaries.
In the secrecy of my room
I would not admit I cared
that my friends were given parties.
Before I left town for school
my birthday went up in smoke
in a fire at City Hall that gutted
the Department of Vital Statistics.
If it weren’t for a census report
of a five-year-old White Male
sharing my mother’s address
at the Green Street tenement in Worcester
I’d have no documentary proof
that I exist. You are the first,
my dear, to bully me
into these festive occasions.
Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation.
I settled on a poem called "Crossroads" by Joyce Sutphen. It references "middle age," which doesn't apply to my wife, but I like what it's trying to say, so I think I'll share it with her...and you!
|by Joyce Sutphen|
The second half of my life will be black to the white rind of the old and fading moon. The second half of my life will be water over the cracked floor of these desert years. I will land on my feet this time, knowing at least two languages and who my friends are. I will dress for the occasion, and my hair shall be whatever color I please. Everyone will go on celebrating the old birthday, counting the years as usual, but I will count myself new from this inception, this imprint of my own desire. The second half of my life will be swift, past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder, asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road. The second half of my life will be wide-eyed, fingers shifting through fine sands, arms loose at my sides, wandering feet. There will be new dreams every night, and the drapes will never be closed. I will toss my string of keys into a deep well and old letters into the grate.
Read the rest here.
Today's Poetry Roundup location, at the time of this posting, is difficult to determine. Check with Julie Larios, who posted that she's looking into it. See you next week!